Access to improved water, effective hand washing facilities and basic sanitation make up the core of the work we do and the provision of these services has never been more important given the present global pandemic.
We have all been advised that hand hygiene is crucial in preventing the spread of C-19 and for us in Guernsey and similar jurisdictions this is simple given the easy availability to water and soap. But it’s not that simple for those who have no access to these very basic needs.
The UN estimates that 40% of the world’s population (3 billion people) lack basic hand washing facilities at home and in Least Developed Countries (of which Tanzania is one) the figure rises to nearly three quarters of the population.
The arrival of COVID-19 in Tanzania has meant that we have made some adjustments to our activities and have had to temporarily suspend some projects within schools (currently closed). Our shallow well work will continue once the dry season arrives subject to funds being available.
We have taken the view that any response to the virus should be carried out in partnership with local government as opposed to independent intervention. Given the strong relationship we have established with the local governments and individual communities during the last few years, it’s vital that we respond in a collaborative manner to help reinforce the official guidelines.
We have now succeeded in raising sufficient funds to partner with district government in delivering a prevention and protection programme to provide basic PPE for health workers, hand washing stations plus supplies of soap and sanitisers to be installed at important locations such as markets, public offices, village centres etc. In addition, an awareness campaign including distribution of information posters and use of public address will be implemented throughout every administrative ward. The posters will emphasise the importance of effective hand hygiene and provide advice on distancing and COVID symptoms. This will commence in Chato District and will take around two weeks to complete.
Like most charities, we have had to cancel several fund raising events and our income has fallen as a consequence. We are therefore very pleased to be able to implement these protective and preventative measures without having to launch a public appeal at a time when everyone is feeling the pressure. We are very grateful to the donors who have supported us and continue to do so.