Today, Tuesday, August 11, 2020 Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) took its COVID-19 Awareness and Sensitization Campaign to Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State after flag-off on July 31, 2020 in Bori, Khana Local Government Area. The COVID-19 awareness and sensitization campaign which took place in the Igbodo Community Makeshift market that exist along a major road leading to Abia State was organized with funding support from Land is Life, USA.The traders took to the roads to sell their markets in conditions against measures recommended by Nigeria Centre for Disease Contriol (NCDC) and World Health Organization (W.H.O) as seen during ADVOCACY CENTRE’s visit for the campaign today as the main market stores remain closed. The Rivers State Government had since March 2020 short down major markets in the State citing COVID-19 concerns and the need to prevent the spread of the virus in crowded markets. However, traders chased from the main markets across the State resorted to selling along major roads and streets without observing physical distancing and other COVID-19 protocol thus defeating the original purpose of market closures by the Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike. The COVID-19 awareness and sensitization campaign in Etche today is a follow up to the flag-off done in makeshift markets in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State on Friday, July 31, 2020 . Speaking at the COVID-19 Awareness campaign, the Executive Director of Advocacy Centre, Mr. Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface thanked the leadership of the market represented by Mr. Achor for the collaboration for the sensitization to be carried out in the makeshift markets. He called on the people trading in the market to endeavour to observe COVID-19 protocols and preventive measures especially physical distancing to prevent the contraction and spreading of corona virus disease that unsuspected traders may bring to the market the ongoing community spreading of the diseases. Responding, Mr. Achor expressed appreciation to Advocacy Centre its partner for chosen one of the makeshift markets in Etche for the campaign for the prevention of corona virus disease in the area and for donating free face masks among others. Some beneficiaries if the campaign and awareness creation on COVID-19 expressed happiness to Advocacy Centre and for donating free Face Masks to them adding that the advocacy should also be extended to other markets around the area. Shockingly, a market woman who was given a Face Mask turned around and asked the COVID-19 awareness team that what should she do with the Face Mask? This question sends very strong message about why over 98% of the traders do not use Face Masks as some of them like this woman may not know the use and importance of a Face Mask in this COVID-19 era. Hence, the need to sustain this campaign in communities and markets beyond the lifespan of our current project. Other campaign materials used by Advocacy Centre include posters, hand bills and application of sanitizers to the hands of the market traders even before collecting their free Face Masks.  The ADVOCACY CENTRE COVID-19 awareness and sensitization campaign would continue this week in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State.

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