Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent
AT least 700 households in Hopley have received water, sanitation and hygienic (WASH) products from Red Cross, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and its back donor the African Development Bank (AfDB) to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
On Friday, the residents received buckets, soaps, detergents and water treatment tablets as part of the Red Cross and UNICEF’s support for sanitation in the area.
Red Cross operations director Mr Tapiwa Chadoka said the intervention towards water, sanitation and hygiene for COVID-19 has been realistic from a deliberate decision.
“Our response to COVID-19 has just been strengthened with the partnership that we have with UNICEF. They are supporting us to provide WASH services for the population of Hopley,” he said.
“For one to be able to deal with COVID-19, water and sanitation which includes the behaviour practices around washing hands should be promoted and this has been the missing link, particularly in communities like Hopley where water access has been a challenge. “Sanitation facilities have also been problematic in the community. With this programme, we strive to contribute towards the relief of those in need.
“With water, sanitation and behavioural change promotion, we hope that this community will be able to deal better with the impact of COVID-19. As part of our interventions, we plan to distribute the enabling facilities such as hand washing facilities, buckets, soaps, and detergents so that people get used to washing their hands often.”
Mr Chadoka said Red Cross would drill seven boreholes and then solarise them with the intention of installing piped systems such that people can draw water from taps instead of the mechanical pumps that are currently being used.
He said this reduces contacts with the water facilities, cited as one of the agents of infection.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Winnie Jennie said they have been facing water challenges for years and the coming in of Red Cross and UNICEF would go a long way in fighting the spread of COVID-19 as people now have water treatment tablets.
“Our main challenge in Hopley is access to clean water because we do not have potable water sources. We thank Red Cross for helping us with buckets, soaps and detergents,” she said.
Mr Daniel Mushore, another beneficiary also thanked Red Cross and UNICEF for the donation saying it would go a long way in helping him as a person living with disability.
“I am grateful for this donation because as a person living with disability, few people care about our well-being. Today, we have been remembered,” he said.