It is currently estimated that in Kenya, only 59% of the population have access to basic water services and 29% have access to basic sanitation services. With Kanjoo being a remote sub-location, these percentages are greatly reduced.
Diarrheal disease is the single largest cause of death among children under-five and a major cause of childhood illness. Alongside pneumonia and other viruses like Covid-19, diarrheal disease is commonly spread from person to person through poor hygiene. The simple act of washing hands can save lives.
In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, THI has had to prioritise the education and delivery of the planned hand washing project.
- To provide education on the importance of handwashing to prevent the spread of diseases.
- To provide training on the most comprehensive hand washing techniques.
- To provide handwashing facilities and resources at a household level: water containers, soaps, handtowels and a laminated poster highlighting the 7 stages of effective hand washing.
- To monitor and assess the effectiveness of the project and provide ongoing help and assistance when washing hands as a means of preventing illness.
The project has reached 500 low income households in the Kanjoo community. Handwashing resources are not a priority for the majority of the community due to high levels of poverty so providing education that highlights how important handwashing is, was imperative to the project.
The first stage was the delivery of educational workshops and demonstrations by our team on the ground to small, social distancing groups. One member of the household would then collect and sign off on these resources to carry home. There were problems with illiteracy which were overcome with the help of our team and literate school children, which was great to see.
Due to the emergency delivery of this project, there were some challenges to overcome as highlighted in our blog section. However, as the continued monitoring and assessment is showing, the education and resources are proving invaluable with the beneficiaries showing great enthusiasm for the project.
Once the schools have re-opened, we will continue to develop this project as previously planned, with further training and infrastructure which will ultimately lead to improved education, health and livelihoods for the community.