From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The Emergency Task Force on COVID-19 of the Victims Support Fund (VSF) said it has committed N200 million to COVID-19 prevention across the six geo-political zones of the country.
The group recently donated three solar-powered boreholes and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities to three secondary schools in Ondo State.
Mrs Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, the Chairperson of the task force, who presented the items on behalf of VSF at the Holy Flock of Christ Grammar School, Ondo, said the organization chose Ondo for its intervention because of the impressive response of the state government in combating COVID-19.
According to her, two other schools including Oroke High School, Akungba Akoko and Anglican Grammar School, Ijare in Ifedore Local Government Area of the state benefitted from the gesture.
Mrs Akerele-Ogunsiji said the task force was concerned about the plight of students and teachers in densely populated areas during the COVID-19 pandemic, hence the intervention with 54 borehole facilities and 216 handwashing stations in 18 states across the six geopolitical zones, estimated at N200 million.
She said ‘the purpose of setting up the organisation on 30th of March 2020 as a rapid respond initiative of the Victims Support Fund is to go round Nigeria to provide foods, medical items and washing facilities to indigenes, states and communities.
‘This borehole facility donated to 54 secondary schools across the 18 different states of the six geo-political zones of Nigeria as our own sustainable intervention. You can give people foods, medical items and others whereas all these things will finish one day. But the impact of this borehole to this community will forever be remembered because there is no single borehole in this entire community.
‘We work with state government through the ministries of education and health because when we are making the donation we must factor in the opinion of stakeholders at the local community.
‘Each of this borehole facility and hand washing stations cost about N4.1million, I think we’ve spent about N200 million in the entire country,’ she added.
She explained that each of the schools received a solar-powered borehole, four handwashing stations, 2,000 pieces of reusable face mask, five pieces of four-litre hand sanitisers, 120 bottles of 500ml liquid hand wash and five carton of bleach.
According to her, the Task Force on COVID-19 is an emergency response team inaugurated by the Chairman of the VSF, General TY Danjuma (Rtd), to provide palliatives to displaced persons and the vulnerable, as well as provide institutional support to agencies supporting the national effort to fight COVID-19.
Akerele-Ogunsiji, however, said the organization would continue to provide succor to vulnerable Nigerians as well as give institutional support to agencies involved in the fight against COVID-19.
The Principal of Oroke High School, Akungba Akoko, Mrs Akinnawo, thanked the facilitator for considering the school and two other secondary schools in the state worthy of the gesture.
She said: ‘I will like to state the fact that the wash facilities will go a long way in helping to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the academic community and protect the students of Oroke High School and others from contracting the virus.’
Dr Jibayo Adeyeye, the state acting Commissioner for Health, who spoke on behalf of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu appreciated VSF for the intervention, saying ‘it is a very important donation particularly in this community because it is a difficult to sink borehole here.’
Adeyeye charged the schools to see the project as their own and do everything possible to keep the project the way it was commissioned and handed over to them.