It’s no surprise that at the onset, Rotary went in full steam to combat Covid-19. Evidenced when District Governor Joe Otin set up a team of Rotarians who would lead in this fight. Led by Dr. Joe Kamau, the District Emergency Response Team hit the ground running. Raising funds from individual Rotarians, Rotary & Rotaract Clubs, corporate and well-wishers. The needs assessment team was identifying key projects/focus areas where funds raised would be channeled to help in the fight.
The team’s first mandate was to help Kenyans in low-income areas wash their hands more often. These areas, due to their economic state, barely access clean water for drinking, leave alone wash their hands. As per WHO guidelines, hand-washing is an effective way of combating the disease. First batch of 100 water tanks was received by Dr. Joe and his team. The tanks were then quickly distributed to areas that had been mapped out already.
At the onset of the campaign, the Emergency Response team rallied Rotarians to contribute towards the fund. An anonymous Rotarian had volunteered to match $1 for every $1 raised. Within no time, the District’s fund grew. This meant the team could procure more hand-washing stations. Every low-income area in Nairobi had access to clean water for hand-wash.
As the days went by, the team expanded their reach outside of Nairobi. Mombasa, Kilifi & Kwale Counties had started recording more positive infection cases. These counties became the team’s new focus. 100-liter water tanks were transported to the coastal region for distribution and received by their respective Governors.
1Million People Impacted
As of 30th March, over 1 million people had been impacted by Rotary’s efforts to combat Covid-19. Handwashing stations that had been installed in various parts of Nairobi & Mombasa were creating a long-lasting impact to combat the disease.
With such success in just under a month, the Emergency Response team expanded their efforts to other parts of the country. Western Kenya Rotary Clubs began distributing hand-washing stations across the region. With ongoing floods in the region, clubs reviewed their needs assessment and began food drives. So far they have had two successful food distributions in Nyakach and Nyando.
The Covid-19 pandemic threatens to set back the clock and send back Kenya to alarming levels of Global Hunger Index of the century. However, Rotary District 9212 has committed not to let this happen.
To date, Rotarians have donated and distributed over 3000 food hampers. In Nairobi, over 1325 food hampers have been distributed in the last three weeks. Another 1150 hampers will be distributed in coming days.
Love for Our Covid-19 Frontline Heroes
The most important asset in the fight against corona virus has to be our frontline heroes. Nurses, doctors, lab technologists etc. And Rotary is cognisant of that. Rotary in partnership with Kenya Flower Council, Elgon Flowers & KEPSA have distributed flowers to various hospital and health centres across the country. This is through Flowers for Hope Campaign. The campaign seeks to show solidarity with frontline medical workers who’ve constantly showed up at their work places.
The team has so far visited Kenyatta Hospital, Mbagathi Hospital, Thika District Hospital, National Spinal Injury, Mama Lucy Hospital & Pumwani Maternity. They have also handed over flowers at Karen Hospital and Shalom Hospital in Syokimau.