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#GlobalHandwashingDay: 750,000+ Provided Access to Clean Water for Handwashing Amid COVID-19

It’s no secret: The last eight months have been unusual for communities all over the world—navigating a pandemic safely, learning new social norms, and staying healthy and safe.

According to UN Water, handwashing with soap is key in slowing the spread of viruses such as COVID-19, and right now, only 60% of the world’s population has access to a basic handwashing facility.

Today, on #GlobalHandwashingDay—several months since Water Mission began its global COVID-19 response—our team is overjoyed to share that more than 750,000 people have been given access to handwashing supplies, such as safe water and soap.

Around the world, our teams have installed nearly 8,000 handwashing stations in a wide range of high-traffic areas, including healthcare facilities, schools, government buildings, markets, and even prisons. Our team members have witnessed communities thrive, even amid unprecedented circumstances such as COVID-19. Amid these trying times, basic resources offer hope.

This response has played a role in deepening our relationships with community leaders and influential partners including the Poul Due Jensen Foundation (Grundfos Foundation), that provided Water Mission with a $1.5 million grant to respond to COVID-19.

In every region where Water Mission serves, our global team of engineers, community development officers, and project managers have worked tirelessly to ensure communities are equipped with the necessary hygiene resources to stay safe during this pandemic.

Latin America and Caribbean Country Programs

Comprised of Water Mission’s country programs in Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru, our Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) program has collectively served more than 60,000 people with access to safe water for handwashing.

In partnership with the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), our LAC program has had the opportunity to educate children about the importance of handwashing with materials that feature characters from the animated show, “Superbook.”

A staff member in Haiti conducts hygiene training using CBN “Superbook” handwashing materials.

Hector Chacon, country director for Water Mission’s program in Honduras, was recently interviewed on CBN Latin America to discuss his team’s COVID-19 response and the use of this inspiring handwashing resource.

Africa Country Programs

Throughout East Africa, our country programs in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda have been hard at work installing handwashing stations in vulnerable communities—including refugee settings.

With praise from national governments—including the Ministers for Health in both Tanzania and Uganda—our teams have had the opportunity to serve more than 670,000 people.

“On behalf of the Tanzanian government, I would like to thank Water Mission for complementing government efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Their contribution entails preventing the spread of the disease in health facilities… The biggest thing that health professionals need to focus on is to ensure that they wash their hands to prevent contracting and transmitting infectious diseases. This initiative by Water Mission’s program in Tanzania ensures that happens.”

–Ummy Mwalimu, Minister of Health, Tanzania – National broadcast, April 23, 2020, translated from Swahili

Rural healthcare workers were also thankful to receive handwashing stations to ensure they could provide safe care to their patients.

“As a hospital, we appreciate what Water Mission is doing because this will make it easier for us to address the fears and anxiety among our people,” says Lilian Omandi, a doctor at St. Jude Hospital in Kitalale, Kenya. “For you to come here shows how much we are loved and cared for.”

A hospital staff member uses a handwashing station installed by Water Mission’s Kenya program.
Southeast Asia Program

Our Indonesia country program has provided handwashing stations for nearly 18,500 people. This team even led the charge in installing handwashing stations that are wheelchair accessible.

A community member uses a wheelchair accessible handwashing station installed by Water Mission staff in Indonesia.

Socially distanced handwashing stations were also installed at hospitals, government buildings, and existing safe water collection points. Working diligently to ensure people were served with love, excellence, and integrity, our Indonesia team traveled near and far to ensure communities were able to stay safe and healthy amid COVID-19.

Ending the Global Water Crisis

As COVID-19 continues to impact our world, global teams are still working to implement safe water projects to help put an end to the global water crisis which leaves 2.2 billion without safe drinking water. It’s an urgent and enormous task—one we are committed to help solve.

On this #GlobalHandwashingDay, we invite you to learn more about how you can pray for and support our teams as they continue to provide access to clean, safe water for handwashing and so many other basic needs.

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