As the world moves forward through unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have started to do our part by social distancing and improving our personal hygiene. One significant measure that governments and health officials have strongly advised is handwashing, but did you know that previous studies show only 5% of people wash their hands correctly? It may have taken a pandemic for many to realise its importance, but now is the time to make correct handwashing a frequent daily behaviour.
This is absolutely avoidable as long as we practice personal hygiene diligently.
Handwashing with soap and water is ultimately the best choice.
So far, we've emphasized the importance of soap, but clean water is important too!
Amidst this, we cannot forget about the communities that do not have access to clean water. We’ve been told repeatedly to wash our hands regularly with soap and clean water, but this is not possible for communities who do not have the privilege of free flowing clean water. Filtered water is not only needed for drinking, but also for sanitation, hygiene, and medical purposes. With multiple demands for the use of clean water, practicing this simple act may not be the highest priority for family deciding between dehydration or dirty hands.
Today, a Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 has been launched by the United Nations, pledging a total of US$2 billion to help vulnerable communities around the world. Handled mainly by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), UN-Habitat, and UNICEF, these agencies will be focusing on the provision of WASH facilities and services, as well as the continued sustainability of them. In a time where sanitation is highly stressed, it is vital for such responses to be carried out for those living in fragile settings.
This Plan is vital to ensure communities are educated on the importance of such a simple measure in disease prevention, but also so communities are provided with physical access to basic necessities so they do not have to decide between two important priorities.
If you know of a community or anyone in need of clean water during this difficult and trying period, please fill out the contact form below or visit the page here.
During this trying time, we hope that everyone can be socially responsible, work with one another and get through this together! Practice social distancing and always remember to wash your hands for at least 30 seconds, following the 7 steps as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Bury the germ, fight the virus. Stay home, stay safe!