The provision of safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions are essential for preventing and for protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including of coronavirus (COVID19). Ensuring evidenced-based and consistently applied WASH practices in communities, homes, schools, marketplaces, and healthcare facilities will help prevent human-to-human transmission of COVID-19.
KARIMAJIJI is a small community that is located along Airport Road in the FCT, a colony of Persons Living With Disabilities. They mostly rely on interventions by nonprofit organisations and the government, community members are said to have benefited from intervention from the direct food supply and vocational skills.
When COVID19 stroke, the WaterWide team saw the need to engage this community and empower community members with information on how covid19 spreads, source of the virus and local mitigation measures. we were received by the head of the colony Alhaji Mohammed Suleiman Katsina.
Suleiman was quick to highlight the challenges facing the community “we have inadequate water supply, irregular power supply and bad road. He further stated that the water supply currently been enjoyed by the community including the school were all courtesy of different NGO’s that has constantly been of great and assistance to the community.” Suleiman said.
After making enquiry on their knowledge of the coronavirus and what measures they have in place to combat the spread, Alhaji Sulieman said they knew the virus exist because the government came to distribute palliatives in the community and they were advised to wear a face mask, consequently, they had very little knowledge on the virus and how it spread and multiple ways of reducing/preventing the spread.
The leader of the colony selected 150 representatives from different household to attend the community sensitization, this was so because there is a high need to adhere to social distancing as advised by the World Health Organisation.
We engaged community members on hand hygiene, waste management and teaching them how to make tippy taps in their various homes and around the community. 150, hand sanitizers, soap and 200 reusable facemasks were distributed to community members.
We also created a WASH Accountability Mechanism for them to document every WASH interventions done in the community (Dates, project specifics and organisation name) to ensure accountability and proper reporting system.
Poor WASH practices and facilities impact on the spread of COVID19, and it affects human health by causing acute infectious diarrhoea, repeat or chronic diarrhoea episodes, and non-diarrhoeal disease, which can arise from chemical species such as arsenic and fluoride. It can also affect health by limiting productivity and the maintenance of personal hygiene.