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Lafarge Africa makes donations to support Nigeria in the midst of coronavirus pandemic

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

Lafarge Africa Plc, Nigeria’s operations of the building materials company, LafargeHolcim has announced donations to support Nigeria’s capacity to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lafarge Africa is providing the use of three of its facilities in its host states for use as isolation centres during the pandemic. In addition, the company is donating equipment for facilities, product donations for infrastructural support including generators, ambulances and critical personal protection equipment (PPE) for professionals at the forefront of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, interventions that support water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiatives have been enabled for the host communities. Furthermore, the company’s host community engagements and sensitisation programmes on COVID-19 have so far directly impacted thousands of people at the grassroots level.

The CCEO of Lafarge Africa Plc, Khaled El Dokani, said: “Our intervention will be used to support healthcare facilities in Lagos and in our host communities. Infrastructure and kits to protect the healthcare personnel and support staff who take care of patients are very important to ensure that our compatriots fighting to help contain COVID-19 do the job professionally and safely. The personal protection equipment we are providing will also play an important role in containing the spread of COVID-19. Our communities have been standing by us over the years in making building materials for the development of Nigeria. We are committed to standing by them and with the Nigerian Government and people in defeating COVID-19.”

Commitment to health and safety

Lafarge Africa has built and equipped health centres across its host communities and operates a modern healthcare facility in Ashakacem, Gombe State, which is fully accessible to community members. Staff at the facility have undergone training in identifying and reporting the symptoms of COVID-19. While the COVID-19 pandemic is an unforeseen emergency, the longstanding commitment to high standards of safety and welfare of staff and stakeholders has enabled the company to quickly rise to the challenge of curtailing the spread of the virus.

Khaled El-Dokani further stated: “Beyond the strict safety measures we have put in place across our offices and plants, including adopting remote working, and the donation of personal protection equipment, we have also supported the fight against COVID-19 through public communications on preventive measures. Lafarge Africa will continue to be a leading voice in advocating safe practices in our host communities and the nation at large. We are all working together to defeat this pandemic.”

Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, the Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development Director, said: “Lafarge Africa’s intervention to support the containment of COVID-19 in Nigeria is in line with the LH Group’s core values which guide its operations in over 90 countries. These values place a premium on health and safety and the sustainability of not only Lafarge operations, but also involves the company’s role in building the resilience of local and national operating environments.”

The company is collaborating with stakeholders in the private sector as board members of the Nigeria Network of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG), which is a member of the United Nations, and the European Business Organisation (EBO) Nigeria to assist efforts at the communal, state and national levels to fight COVID-19.

Helping build the national infrastructure to defeat COVID-19

According to the CCEO of Lafarge Africa Plc, Khaled El Dokani, “Lafarge’s intervention is built on the insight that a combination of interventions is required to contain the spread of COVID-19”.

El Dokani said that these critical interventions include providing personal protection equipment for the medical staff who have to come into close contact with COVID-19 patients, the provision of testing kits which enable the quick identification and isolation of infected people, ambulances to safely transport infected people and the provision of decent isolation centres to accommodate them. He further commented on Lafarge’s intervention, “The fight against COVID-19 will be won only if this trio is effectively deployed – testing kits, protection equipment and isolation facilities. Lafarge Africa is determined to work with Nigerians and the Nigerian Government in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria. We are donating cement and providing our facilities to be used as fully equipped and powered isolation centres across our host states.”

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