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NGO supports 14 urban slums in fight against virus

SHOFCO has screened 1,817,178 people for COVID-19 symptoms.

In Summary

•It also operates 317 handwashing stations across 14 sites that have been used 37,793,894 times, and delivered 5,639,320 litres of free water in Kibera via an innovative aerial water piping system.

•SHOFCO has distributed an additional 37,880,000 litres of water via water truck distribution, and reached 1,543,754 slum dwellers with household-level distributions of soap and sanitizer.

Shofco CEO Kennedy Odede being screened in Kibera./courtesy
Shofco CEO Kennedy Odede being screened in Kibera./courtesy

A grassroot movement in Kibera slum has supported 14 urban sites in the fight against Covid-19.

So far, Shining Hope for Communities has screened 1,817,178 people for Covid-19 symptoms.

It also operates 317 handwashing stations across 14 sites that have been used 37,793,894 times, and delivered 5,639,320 litres of free water in Kibera via an innovative aerial water piping system.

SHOFCO has distributed an additional 37,880,000 litres of water via water truck distribution, and reached 1,543,754 slum dwellers with household-level distributions of soap and sanitizer.

SHOFCO Founder and CEO Kennedy Odede, said slum residents bear the biggest risk during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, as they lack the necessary infrastructure and access to basic services.

The organisation's community-based approach has created distribution channels for government, corporate, and NGO partners to support in Kibera, Mathare, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Kawangware, Korogocho, Nyalenda, Obunga, Maweni, Bangladesh, Mishomoroni, Likoni, Kamkunji, Manyatta, and Soweto slums.

"The virus has shown the importance of community-led response to crisis. When the community takes ownership, it becomes possible to do rapid distribution of supplies and information that keep slum residents safe during this pandemic," he said.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed vulnerable families to the edge of survival. We were able to mobilize quickly and at scale, and provide a lifeline to families hit hardest by the economic devastation."

The organization is also collecting questions, rumors, and reports of COVID-19 misinformation from community members via SMS or door-to-door surveys that are fact-checked and addressed via local radio and other direct communication strategies.

“To date, we have enrolled 351,054 contacts in our SMS platform and analyzed 7,643 household-level survey responses,” Odede said.

Other initiatives that the organisation has undertaken include delivering 32,594 emergency food packages, and responding to 1,653 cases of gender-based violence since the start of the pandemic.

Shining Hope for Communities is a grassroot movement that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services for all, community advocacy platforms, and education and leadership development for women and girls.