The Marketing Society of Kenya has in partnership with brands in the hygiene business, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, the Association of Practitioners in Advertising, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, the Public Relations Society of Kenya, AMREF, SDG Partnership Platform and the United Nations family in Kenya, convened The National Business Compact on COVID-19, (NBCC).
The Marketing Society of Kenya CEO Edward Oswe says that the National Business Compact has raised over KES 80 million both in cash and in-kind donation from Unilever, Pz Cussons, Reckitt & Benckiser, Live Ad, Protel Studios, Menengai, Pwani Oil Product, Chandaria Industries, BRCK, Beiersdorf, Copia, Microsoft, Rotary International, Johnson & Johnson, Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), Twiga and Jumia.
The coalition was launched on March 16 2020, through the efforts of Kenya’s Ministry of Health to mobilise support from corporates and private firms in countering the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Mercy Mwangangi, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Health, Kenya, stated”: “As the Ministry of Health, we are looking forward to collaborating with the Kenya Business Compact to win the fight against COVID-19 and advance our journey towards Universal Health Coverage in the Country. Promoting and educating Kenyans in applying good health practices – as for example handwashing – is a key Government strategy to build a healthy and productive nation. With the uncertainty which COVID-19 brings to Kenya and the rest of the world it’s all hands-on board to curtail and eradicate it. Businesses (in Kenya), through their marketing practices, and in many other ways, can certainly play a valuable role in helping the Country”.
“COVID-19 has dealt a huge blow to our economy and many families are going through tough economic times. As a coalition we felt there is need to mobilise more support and compliment government efforts in fighting the pandemic” said Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group Chief Executive Officer – Amref Health Africa.
“So far, we have received encouraging support from various channels and we would like to appeal to more organizations to support the initiative both financially and in kind, a move that will go a long way in assisting and supporting those in need during the pandemic.” Dr Githinji added
The goal of the coalition is to ensure that the business community gives the government adequate resources in form of funds, services and essential products during the ongoing pandemic.
Some of the initiatives the coalition has came up with include; the drive and amplification of consumer education, awareness and prevention measures on the pandemic, mobilising retailers and suppliers in distribution of essentials services and products in the low income and urban slums countrywide, setting up hygiene centres across identified hotspots in vulnerable populations and the creation of a Flexi fund to help the government respond to emergency crisis.
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So far, the coalition has been involved in initiatives such as donation donation of KES 3 Million to support Government quarantine facilities and KES 2 Million to support doctors in call centres, funds that have been raised by corporates within the coalition.
The Rotary clubs in Kenya, as part of the Rotary district 9212, have actively been involved in the larger Western area deploying 200 tanks in the 11 Western region counties. The clubs have already deployed 300 tanks in Coast and Western regions and plan to expand countrywide.
On Monday, 27th April 2020, Rotary received a cheque of KES 2 million in a partnership with Prime Bank to support the ongoing activities.
NBCC in partnership with the government has scaled hand washing stations in hotspots within the country with donations of 2000 stations set up in Nairobi, Central, Coastal areas and an addition of 200 more stations being handed over this week in Western – with a reach target of 7,500 countrywide.
In addition, there has been a donation of over 30,000 bars of soap to reach at least 6,000 families through the Food for to Education program.
Mr. Oswe is appealing to local and international organizations in Kenya to come on board, donate and contribute towards the fight to contain and top this pandemic.
Kenya’s National Business Compact was co-founded and co-chaired by Dr Myriam Sidibe, a renowned hand washing expert and Senior Fellow, at Harvard Kennedy School.