Ghanaian musician, songwriter, creative director and entrepreneur, Mr. Kwame Nsiah-Apau, known by his stage name as Okyeame Kwame a.k.a “Rap Doctor” and another Ghanaian Afro-pop singer, and songwriter who sings in her native language Sissala and Waala dialects and English, often combining all three languages within her songs, Noella Wiyaala, known by her stage name as Wiyaala have been appointed HBCC for COVID-19 Control Ambassadors.
The two musicians were appointed by WaterAid Ghana (WAG) on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 to join WAG’s latest campaign project to stem the spread of the novel Coronavirus dubbed “Hygiene Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC) for COVID-19 Control”.
Speaking at the short but impressive outdooring and signing ceremony at WAG office in Accra, the Country Director of WaterAid Ghana, Mr Abdul Nashiru Mohammed, explained that the Project, which was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and UNILIVER, is a campaign to be carried out in six districts across five regions, targeting over five million people.
He said WaterAid Ghana acknowledges the importance and influential roles the two musicians; Okyeame Kwame and Wiyaala play within Ghana and beyond thus their appointment as WASH Ambassadors to help disseminate hygiene messages to curtail the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19.
“WAG will work with you, our WASH Ambassadors to implement this and other WASH projects of the Country Programme. WAG is counting on your popularity and large followers on social media and in your communities to extensively disseminate hygiene messages to the project target audience” the Country Director of WaterAid Ghana reiterated.
Okyeame Kwame a.k.a the “Rap Doctor” on behalf of his colleague Wiyaala who joined the ceremony via zoom thanked management of WAG for deeming them fit to be WASH Ambassadors at this a crucial moment.
According to him task in enormous but promised to use their good standing in the music industry and their teeming followers to create the needed awareness about hygiene habits that project people from contracting infectious disease like COVID-19.
Okyeame Kwame and Wiyaala join the likes of Ace Broadcaster cum actress Anita Erskine and Fashion Influencer and actress, Afua Rida who are long standing WAG Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassadors to prosecute the HBCC for COVID-19 Control agenda.
The HBCC campaign which is under the theme: “Clean Community, Safe Environment,” is to motivate people to practice personal and social protective behaviours, and to complement the Government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
The campaign, according to WAG, would involve handwashing with soap, maintaining physical and social distancing, wearing masks in public, cleaning frequently-touched surfaces regularly and self-isolation, when experiencing symptoms, to protect others from the virus, saying “we will also install contact-less (Hands-free) handwashing facilities in public locations”.
The Country Director of WaterAid Ghana explained that the HBCC, would be implemented in two phases over a period of nine months and would leverage on WaterAid Ghana’s extensive experience in running hygiene behavior change campaigns, with the first phase focusing on an extensive promotion of five key hygiene behaviours related to COVID-19 using social, digital and mass media channels.
He hinted that the second phase would also support government-led hygiene campaigns for sustained behavior change, while continuing to promote the wider mass media crusade.
The HBCC for COVID-19 Control beneficiary communities are: Wa Municipal in Upper West; Bongo and Kassena Nankana West in Upper East; Nanumba South in the Northern; Kwahu Afram Plains North in the Eastern; and Ablekuma Central Municipal in the Greater Accra region.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH