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Thierry Vandevelde, Executive Officer of the Veolia Foundation: "The fight against Covid-19 requires access to water and basic sanitation"

 

 

Together with its French and international partners, the Veolia Foundation is working to stem the spread of Covid-19. In France, hygiene kits are being distributed to the most disadvantaged people. In several African countries, the focus is on access to water, a vital service that is essential in fighting the pandemic.

 

Sanitation kits for people living on the streets.

Like everyone else, the forgotten people on the streets - the homeless, migrants, people living in squats and shantytowns - must also be able to protect themselves. To enable them to do so, the Veolia Foundation is helping Croix-Rouge Insertion, an arm of the French Red Cross, to put together hygiene kits, which are then distributed by Solidarités International in coordination with Médecins du Monde. The initiative targets people who are vulnerable to Covid-19 that are isolated by the lockdown measures. The Veolia Foundation is calling on its counterparts to join this multi-actor initiative to distribute hygiene kits. It is also installing temporary water access and distribution points in camps on the outskirts of Paris in the Seine-Saint-Denis area.

 

 

Providing access to water to combat the spread of Covid-19 in Africa

"To combat Covid-19, access to water and basic sanitation is essential. They are vital, essential services," says Thierry Vandevelde.

In Cameroon, the city of Bangangté is working to combat the spread of the virus with the support of the Veolia Foundation and the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF): standpipes and hand-washing facilities are being provided in Bangangté and its 13 villages in the western region.
The number of staff and the supply of protective equipment in hospitals has been increased. Farmers who can no longer sell their produce on the markets are receiving support. Food baskets are being delivered to alleviate food shortages among villagers. And young people adversely affected by the lockdown are being helped to make soap.

 

The Veolia Foundation is also continuing its program to restore access to water in 47 villages in western Cameroon. Two other water access programs concern Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Mali, the Foundation is restoring access to water in the region of Gao.