Orano mobilized at Niger's side in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic

Since mid-March, when the first case of Coronavirus was confirmed in Niger, Orano and the SOMAÏR, COMINAK and Orano Mines Niger mining companies have been working on numerous initiatives in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic in the country.
This effort is being made in solidarity with employees, sub-contractors and local communities in the Arlit / Akokan area in the North of Niger, a region where uranium mines are located and where the mining companies employ more than 2,000 people directly, as well as multiple sub-contractors. Other initiatives have also been taken to provide support to public and private healthcare structures in Niamey. 
Mining companies are assisting the local authorities in the deployment of preventive measures, the provision of medical supplies, equipment and consumables, the training of medical teams, and in raising public awareness. 
Donation from SOMAIR and COMINAK to the public hospitals of Arlit and Agadez - June 14, 2020 © Orano

This mobilization has taken several forms, amounting to a total investment of over €1.3m.

  • Prevention and raising public awareness: considerable work has been done to inform personnel and members of the public. Campaigns to raise awareness about preventive measures against COVID-19, publicized on local radio stations, were run by the Arlit Town Hall, in close collaboration with the mining companies. 
    Many mining company employees have volunteered to coordinate and provide support for actions being taken in urban areas, including carrying out checks on barrier behaviors, raising awareness and disinfecting schools, health districts and places of worship. The donation of soap to local populations and the installation of water fountains for handwashing in the urban area of Arlit are just some examples of the preventive measures deployed.

  • Training of medical personnel: the mining companies have invested considerable amounts in emergency equipment. Medical teams from the mining hospitals and the Health district of Arlit have been trained, with the help of private medical organizations from Niamey, in how to organize services and handle suspected cases, including in triage, giving of directions, diagnosis and treatment.

  • Supply of technological hardware and equipment: equipment has been sent to the Arlit District Hospital and to the hospitals at Somaïr and Cominak, which are also stakeholders in the national plan to counter the pandemic. The Center for Medical and Health Research (Centre de Recherche Médicale et Sanitaire – CERMES) in Niamey, as well as the district hospital of Arlit will also receive isolation equipment (glove boxes) virus testing equipment and respirators. 

  • Provision of consumables: thousands of items of protective equipment (gowns, scrub caps, masks, etc.) have been provided to frontline workers mobilized in the fight against COVID-19, and delivered to hospitals in Niamey, Arlit and Agadez. 
Health equipment handed over to the Arlit Urban Community - April 18, 2020 © Orano
Actions have also been taken to make it possible to receive patients, such as making available, preparing and equiping buildings, including premises to be used for isolation. At Arlit, the emphasis was placed on logistical support, in particular supplying electricity to premises and donating  beds and mattresses, in order make one of the integrated Health Centers of the Urban Community of Arlit able to accommodate patients needing to be isolated.
The prefect of Arlit © Orano
The prefect of Arlit said that no other place in Niger has received so much equipment and resources for use in the fight against COVID-19 which is “thanks to the multiple forms of support and assistance provided by the mining companies of the ORANO group”. He also expressed his gratitude, on behalf of all the people of Arlit and Agadez, and in the name of the highest authorities in the country.

Equiping the public with masks and creating jobs.

To combat the pandemic effectively, apart from equiping staff and sub-contractors with surgical masks for professional use, the mining companies also supplied the residents of Arlit with masks for private use.

100,000 textile masks were manufactured by local service providers to a design approved by the French Standards Authority, AFNOR, and made available to the families of COMINAK and SOMAÏR personnel, as well as to sub-contractors and Arlit and Akokan residents, including  school teachers and pupils.

The masks are being produced by two workshops in Arlit which have been manufacturing work clothes for the mining companies for 20 years and by one other workshop based in Niamey. Working with local suppliers to manufacture masks is one concrete example of the application of Orano's CSR approach. 

The donation ceremony to the Departmental Committee for the fight against Epidemics in Arlit - May 16, 2020 © Orano
By clicking “I accept Cookies”, you agree with the cookies use to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage and compile statistics. To get more information, please read our Cookies Policy in the Legal Notice