COVID-19 relief work
The Just a Drop team would like to thank Friendly Soap customers for supporting our hygiene work over the past seven months. With each purchase, you supported communities in Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Cambodia, India and Nicaragua in curbing the spread of Covid-19.
As a consequence of the pandemic, we used our 20 years of experience in hygiene, sanitation and clean water projects to develop emergency response programmes that would help the communities where we work to mitigate the spread of the virus. Our COVID-19 emergency response programmes included installing hand-washing stations in health centres and ramping up soap making workshops, with soap making materials provided by Just a Drop, to ensure that the communities have enough soap to wash their hands – the first line of defence against the coronavirus.
The emergency response programmes furthermore included providing PPE where possible. Joshua, a Clinical Officer at a local rural health centre in Zambia told us of the challenges that the pandemic has brought, and the impact of the PPE provided by Just a Drop: “Coronavirus has brought about a shortage of medicine and other logistics due to the fact that most industries were shut down. Due to a lack of PPE, increase in risk of exposure can cause examinations and history taking of patients to be compromised. We are grateful that Just a Drop donated PPE that has helped in avoiding potential exposure to the virus.”
A community members’ take on the pandemic
Keep calm and carry on as they say! Despite being faced with the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, Scholastica is working with her fellow community members and Just a Drop to bring safe water to her village in Kenya through the construction of a much needed sand dam.
“The pandemic brought in a lot of fear and worry among us. Whenever we walked around the community, we would be very conscious and often ask each other if there is anyone who had made contact with a victim as we were very afraid of contracting it. Later, when we were informed about the implementation of the sand dam project in our region, we created six subgroups of people who would come to work in turns from Monday to Saturday. We are progressing with the project while keeping safe by wearing a mask and washing hands frequently.“
Safe water transforms lives in India
With the support of partners like Friendly Soap and its customers, we have been continuing our vital work of providing safe water in the communities we work with throughout the pandemic, including India. Our work of providing safe water has been recognised as essential in helping curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, as such Just a Drop was allowed to continue work during India lockdown.
Safe water not only helps decrease disease in a community, it also transforms the lives of the women and children who used to be responsible for fetching water, walking hours at a time. In the village of Patna, women and children used to make at least two trips a day to collect dirty water from a stream 2.5km away from the village. Now, with access to safe water at a household level, women have more time to pursue income generating activities such as selling vegetables, grown in their very own kitchen gardens which they were able to cultivate with the safe water they now have access to.
Safe water in Kenyan schools
During 2021 with the support of partners like Friendly Soap, Just a Drop will be working in Kenya installing rainwater harvesting tanks and bring access to safe water available all year round, in schools like ABC Ilalambyu Primary and its 253 pupils. The school is working hard to become a school known for academic excellence in the region but has been faced with numerous challenges hampering its progressive plans of turning into an academic hub, including lacking access to safe water for handwashing during the pandemic.
“Our school is quite disadvantaged in terms of water access, we lack a reliable clean water source to meet all our water needs as we depend on pupils and parents bringing water to school for all our needs such as cooking, cleaning, drinking and in case of any construction projects going on. This time of Corona virus highlights the importance of adequate clean water access which can sustain regular hand washing in school but we are not able to maintain that because the water brought by our students is not always clean because it is from open river scoop holes. Any support to enable us get an adequate clean water source will be highly appreciated,” says Mr Munuve, the school’s head teacher of five years.
So thank you Friendly Soap and customers, for stepping up to the challenge and helping Just a Drop bring safe water to schools like ABC Ilalambyu Primary, helping children reach their full potential!