Schools from Informal Settlements in Nairobi Benefit from Handwashing Stations

Washing hands with soap and clean water is one of the most important defenses against communicable diseases. As the country grapples with containing the spread of Covid-19, everyone must be aware that washing hands regularly can keep one safe and healthy.

KEWASNET has been contributing to the fight against Covid-19 through promoting accountability in the preparedness, response, and control of Covid-19.  With this regard, KEWASNET partnered with Umande Trust with support from the Danish People’s Aid to distribute handwashing equipment to 5,330 beneficiaries in 5 schools at Kibera and Mukuru kwa Njenga, informal settlements in Nairobi.

The outbreak of Covid-19 has laid bare the social and economic disparities that make it almost impossible for the population from low-income to stay healthy and safe. This comes at a time where a baseline survey findings released  in November 2020 by KEWASNET in partnership with Infotrack showed that 89% of households in Nairobi, Mombasa, Malindi, and Kwale reported an increase in the use of water since the outbreak of Covid-19 and that access to water was a key hindrance in the fight against the disease.

Issuing of handwashing stations was led by KEWASNET National Research Coordinator, Joan Kones, and representatives from UMANDE trust. Schools that benefited from this program are: Oloo’s Education Center, Ushirika Center, Mbagathi road secondary school, St. Elizabeth Primary, and Kwa Njenga Secondary School. Each school received 3 handwashing stations, 6 buckets, 3 soap dispensers, and 2-twenty-liter containers of liquid soap. Apart from the materials, the students were also trained on how to properly wash their hands.

Joan Kones, National Research Coordinator, KEWASNET demonstrating to students how to properly wash hands

The schools that benefited from the supplies expressed gratitude to KEWASNET and UMANDE trust and assured the partners that they will continue to encourage kids to wash hands by ensuring that there is an adequate supply of water and soap to the handwashing stations.

Group photo at Kwa Njenga primary school, a beneficiary of the handwashing stations

“These items you have given are going to serve us well to improve sanitation not only interms of Corona but also ensure that it is a routine. Students should know that washing hands keep them safe from diseases. The items will help in reduce the time-wasted on one hand washing station because there are several.  We are looking forward to seeing more. We are all happy for people like you are serving in the community. You have truly shown that you are part of this community. -Director at Oloo’s Education center.

Students at Oloo’s Education Center during a demonstration of how the handwashing station works.

KEWASNET is thrilled to partner with organizations and other stakeholders to support the national and local effort to end the spread of Covid-19 in Kenya.  We are living at such an unprecedented time and there is no doubt that our lives and livelihoods have been disrupted by the pandemic.  There is no better time to show up and support the vulnerable who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic.

 

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