A helping hand

Having access to clean water from safe sources for personal and public hygiene and sanitation is sadly still not a reality for a staggering number of people across the globe.

The WASH First programme is a first line of defence against COVID-19 in marginalised countries where resources are lacking and certain population groups are disadvantaged. In the absence of a vaccine, the focus has been on prevention. To limit the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases, clean water and hygiene are of utmost importance.

The programme has been implemented in six countries: Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Uganda. It has enhanced individuals, communities, health workers, schools and WASH service providers’ understanding of COVID-19 and mitigation measures against transmission of the virus. As far as possible, groups at risk have been provided with sufficient and constant access to support in the form of handwashing facilities, disinfection equipment, soap, hygiene kits, including menstrual health products, and personal protective equipment.

These groups have been given safe access to water and sanitation services through the construction of new facilities, the repair of existing amenities or through temporary and/or mobile supply services.

WASH First is a programme implemented by the WASH SDG Consortium comprising WASH Alliance International (WAI), SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and Plan International Netherlands. Coordinated by Simavi, as a member of WAI, the consortium is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.