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Dettol rolls out handwashing units at popular markets across Nairobi to combat COVID-19

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – Global consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser is providing market traders with handwashing units as well as Dettol soap to promote hygiene and curb the spread of coronavirus.

Dettol Brand Manager for East Africa Mwalo Owiti, says a total of 20 hand washing units have been handed to market associations in five high-traffic markets across Nairobi.

The beneficiary markets are Kangemi, Gikomba, Kawangware, Toy, and Wakulima market.

These handwashing units, each with a capacity of 100 litres of water, will be stocked with Dettol soap and will be managed by the chamas which run the respective markets. The units have a foot pump, and piping leading into a drainage bucket. The foot pump is a convenient mechanism that allows for users to wash their hands without having to keep twisting a tap, thereby helping to maintain a higher standard of hygiene.

“By partnering will market traders, who have been most hit by the pandemic, we will be helping these traders to remain business by making their working areas hygienic during these unprecedented time,” said Mwalo Owiti, Dettol Brand Manager for East Africa, during the handing over of the hand washing units at Wakulima market.

“When markets are open and trading, we safeguard the livelihoods of millions of households, and keep the value chain open, ensuring consumers continue to access basic necessities. These handwashing units help deliver the right to hygiene and sanitation for both traders and consumers.”

The move comes against a finding by the company which finds that a significant number of informal sector workers, who constitute over 50 percent of Kenya’s workforce, are having significant challenged to access proper hygiene during this coronavirus pandemic. 

As noted by UNICEF, hand hygiene is now even more critical, not only to combat COVID-19 but to prevent a range of other infections.

To address this gap and safeguard income security to this sector, we are partnering with market chamas to ensure that markets remain safe and hygienic to continue trading.

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The company will also be carrying out sensitization and habit education campaigns within the markets to improve knowledge on hand hygiene and drive positive habit change, Owiti said.

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