Rwanda today joined the rest of the world to mark the 2020 Global Handwashing Day with a series of activities aimed at creating more awareness on hand hygiene and sanitation.
WaterAid Rwanda joined the international community in marking this year’s Global Handwashing Day (GHWD), which took place on Thursday October 15, 2020 under the theme “Hand Hygiene for all”, a call for all of society to achieve universal hand hygiene.
As WaterAid Rwanda, we are taking this opportunity to remind Rwandans that handwashing is the first line of protection against COVID-19 and other diseases like diarrhoea, Ebola virus disease, hepatitis, etc,”
“Good hygiene behaviours including handwashing should be an essential part of everyone’s lives: be at home, accessing education, accessing health care, other parts of our daily lives -public transportation, market places,” – Maurice Kwizera-Country Director.
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a stark reminder that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of a disease is also one of the simplest: hand hygiene, especially through handwashing with soap.
To beat COVID-19 today and ensure better health outcomes beyond the pandemic, hand hygiene must be a priority now and in the future. This year, WaterAid specifically celebrated the Global Hand Washing Day at district level in the Southern Province of Rwanda in collaboration with Nyamagabe District.
WaterAid Rwanda joined the district leaders, youth and other stakeholders in WASH sector to mobilise communities for hand hygiene, a way of strengthening the ongoing national campaign #SHISHOZA aimed at fighting the COVID-19.
Water Aid also handed over modern permanent handwashing facilities build at four points namely Nyamagabe taxi / bus park, Gasaka, Gasarenda and Kaduha markets among other activities.
Note that according to the Ministry of Health, only 4.4% of households in Rwanda are equipped with facilities that have soap and water to enable the practice of handwashing with soap at critical moments.
Globally, 3 billion people are living without a place where to wash their hands with clean water and soap at home and one in four health centres lack these basic facilities on site.
Without clean water, good hygiene and sanitation, health centres, the very places which are supposed to make you better and keep you well, are at high risk of becoming breeding grounds for Covid-19.
Healthcare workers are staring down this disease without the facilities needed to protect themselves and their patients. Despite this, less than 1% of the funding for responding to Covid-19 has been invested in scaling up access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
WaterAid, is an international not-for-profit, determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. Since we started in 1981, we’ve remained focused on these three essentials. Without them, people can’t live dignified, healthy lives. With them, children grow up healthy and strong, and whole communities start to thrive.
WaterAid started its country programme in Rwanda in 2010. Since the inception of our programme, we have been using our experience to find the best technologies for each situation, shared our knowledge and experience to pilot innovative water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) technologies which can be replicated elsewhere in the country to ensure that even most remote communities are reached.
We also work to support the development of inclusive policies, support key decision-makers with accurate information and offer solutions to complex problems by working closely with local organizations. This has enabled us to unlock people’s potential to break free from poverty and change their lives for good.
We collaborate with the Government to offer customized solutions to scale up investments in WASH. In doing so, we empower communities to provide feedback on WASH services quality and reliability.