Rotary Club Colombo Metropolitan partners with S-Lon, PickMe and Keells to enable safer travel

The Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan in partnership with S-Lon, PickMe and Keells Supermarkets have today launched a ‘handwashing unit for three-wheelers’ intending to help ‘Stop the Spread’ during the global Covid-19 pandemic. The initial stage of the partnership will see 500 three-wheelers (Tuk Tuks) that are registered with PickMe in the Colombo District fitted with the ‘hand wash unit’.  The project was initiated by the Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan (RCCM) in line with the District 3220’s objective of stopping the spread of Covid-19.

Tuk Tuks are a convenient and flexible method of mass transportation. There are approximately 1.2 million registered Tuk Tuk’s in Sri Lanka, and a single vehicle could have at least 30 hires a day. Tuk Tuks are therefore very popular largely due to their accessibility, convenience and lower hiring cost and while they offer an invaluable service to the general public. The introduction of the handwashing unit in Tuk-Tuks aims to negate some of this by promoting hand hygiene in public areas and also more generally even in homes wherein handwashing with soap remains one of our best defences against the virus, along with other public health measures such as maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowded places, practising cough etiquette and wearing a mask wherever recommended.

Speaking at the launch event Ruwan Gunasena, President, Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan said, “This project that was initiated by one of our members after seeing a similar product go viral in India in June 2020. The handwashing unit was aptly titled a ‘Coronainvention’. We at RCCM decided to redesign and re-engineer the unit to comply with our motor regulations in Sri Lanka and were thrilled when S-Lon, PickMe and Keells Supermarket saw this product as an opportunity for the greater good of our community. The Tuk Tuk hand washing unit aims to promote hand hygiene in public spaces to drive one of the main defences prescribed for reducing COVID-19 infection rates and also as a wider means to raising public mass awareness of the need for responsible care and civic responsibility in driving down the spread of the virus.”

Chamara Lokupothagamage, General Manager Marketing from S-Lon Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, speaking at the launch added, “When we were initially approached by the RCCM we saw it as a great opportunity to give back to our community. Our partnership with the RCCM sees us fabricate and manufacture the main cylinder used to carry the water and soap dispenser that would be attached to the Tuk Tuk using S-Lon uPVC pipes and fittings. We have managed to give this unit to the RCCM at a highly subsidized price and we hope from this project to create awareness amongst the general public that the pandemic is still among us and it is far from over. We must remind ourselves of the basics that we as individuals can do to keep ourselves and our community safe”.

PickMe comes into the partnership with its reach and logistical potential, speaking at the launch event Isira Perera, Chief Operations Officer, PickMe said, “Since the pandemic began early 2020, PickMe has been able to ensure safer travel for all our customers and riders with our execution on the ground from educational programs to our Driver Partners, temperature checks and visibility on the App, Separator Screens in the vehicle fleet and various sanitization protocols followed by the fleet. The partnership with RCCM is an extension of our ongoing projects of ensuring safer travel for our stakeholders and we look forward to enabling Sri Lanka to move safer.”

Nilush Cooray, Head of Operations (Retail), Keells Supermarket, added, “At the onset of the pandemic we at Keells too prioritized the safety of our customers and team members. We are happy to partner a project that encourages good hygiene and habits amongst the general public to stop the spread of Covid-19 with the donation of liquid soap for the ‘hand wash unit’ initiated by the RCCM”.

The Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan with their partnerships aim to take the Tuk Tuk ‘handwashing unit’ project next to the Gampaha and Kalutara Districts. They will work with their partner network and the Rotary 3220 network which spans over 200 clubs around the Island. Now more than ever as we embrace the new normal and live with COVID-19, hand hygiene needs to become an integral part of our daily routine and our lives. For more information, the hand wash unit project contact the Rotary Club of Metropolitan on [email protected] or [email protected].

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