Shofco screens 1,817,178 people in slums for COVID-19 symptoms

Thursday, September 17th, 2020 17:16 |
SHOFCO CEO Kennedy Odede

A grassroot movement in Kibera slum has supported 14 urban sites in the fight against Covid-19.

So far, Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) has screened 1,817,178 people for COVID-19 symptoms, operates 317 handwashing stations across 14 sites that have been used 37,793,894 times, and delivered 5,639,320 litres of free water in Kibera via an innovative aerial water piping system.

SHOFCO has distributed an additional 37,880,000 litres of water via water truck distribution, and reached 1,543,754 slum dwellers with household-level distributions of soap and sanitizer.

According to Kennedy Odede, SHOFCO Founder and CEO, slum residents bear the biggest risk during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, as they lack the necessary infrastructure and access to basic services.

SHOFCO’s community-based approach has delivered critical help for slum residents, and created distribution channels for government, corporate, and NGO partners to support in Kibera, Mathare, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Kawangware, Korogocho, Nyalenda, Obunga, Maweni, Bangladesh, Mishomoroni, Likoni, Kamkunji, Manyatta, and Soweto slums.

“COVID-19 has shown the importance of community-led response to crisis. When the community takes ownership, it becomes possible to do rapid distribution of supplies and information that keep slum residents safe during this pandemic.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed vulnerable families to the edge of survival. Because of SHOFCO’s deep roots in urban slum communities, we were able to mobilize quickly and at scale, and provide a lifeline to families hit hardest by the economic devastation.

“We are working very closely with the United Nations, UN-Habitat, OCHA, Amref, and the Government National Covid-19 community task force to ensure that we reach all informal settlements in Kenya,” added Mr. Odede.

The organization is also collecting questions, rumors, and reports of COVID-19 misinformation from community members via SMS or door-to-door surveys that are fact-checked and addressed via local radio and other direct communication strategies.

“To date, we have enrolled 351,054 contacts in our SMS platform and analyzed 7,643 household-level survey responses,” Mr. Odede said.

Other initiatives that SHOFCO has undertaken include delivering 32,594 emergency food packages, and responding to 1,653 cases of gender-based violence since the start of the pandemic.

Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) is a grassroots movement that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services for all, community advocacy platforms, and education and leadership development for women and girls.

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