Handwashing on Wheels to ensure easy access to handwashing facilities for the people on the move in Dhaka

on
27 January 2021
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To respond the surge of coronavirus and facilitate thousands of people with an opportunity to wash hands with soaps, Handwashing on Wheels- an innovative unit launched in Dhaka.

The 10 units were inaugurated by Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tazul Islam, MP at the launching programme jointly organised by Dhaka WASA and WaterAid.

This initiative is supported by WaterAid in collaboration with Sweden Embassy and Dhaka WASA. Dhaka WASA will also supply water for each unit to make it easy for people to access handwashing.

The units are inclusive with multiple user-friendly sinks, liquid soap, and water-tanks, so everyone can perform handwash to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission. The unit is supported with digital Tab to attract and trigger handwashing instances.

As many as 10 Handwashing on Wheels will be situated around Dhaka city with life-saving messages and provide the needed facility to handwashing for public for free. 

Floating people, street vendors, pedestrians, rickshaw-pullers, drivers of public transportation are the key targets for this campaign.

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LGRD Minister Md Tazul Islam as Chief Guest during the launch said, “In the current circumstance, hand hygiene is among the most effective measures to fight against COVID-19. Hand washing is being given more importance nowadays. We should wash our hands properly to be protected from COVID-19. Our government has taken several steps to curb the spread of coronavirus. Private sector, including donor agencies, are also working to combat the virus, which is very positive. I believe, in our current situation, this joint initiative of WaterAid, Dhaka WASA and Sweden Embassy will play an effective role to inspire people in washing their hands with soap to prevent coronavirus spread.”

On the day of inauguration, Shojib Bokor, a local food cart vendor from Karwanbazaar mentioned that he prepares food in the street and had very limited handwashing facilities to keep his hands clean. Now with this initiative he can happily serve food to pedestrians without worry.

Muhammad Ibrahim, Additional Secretary at Local Government Division, said, “Maintaining two things are very important to stay safe from coronavirus. First thing is to wear a mask while stepping out of homes and maintain hand hygiene properly. I really appreciate the joint initiative taken by WaterAid, Dhaka WASA, and the Swedish Embassy to make it easier for the public to wash their hands amid the ongoing pandemic.’

DWASA Managing Director Engr Taqsem A Khan stated, “To help people during the dire time of COVID-19 pandemic, we have come up with five important initiatives, including facilitating easy access for hand washing across the capital.  We hope this initiative of WaterAid, Dhaka WASA and Sweden Embassy will make hand washing convenient for the people, especially during the pandemic.”

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Hasin Jahan, Country Director of WaterAid said, “Handwashing is suggested as the first line of defense and a basic step to avoid the spread of Covid-19. During the second wave of Covid-19, the importance of handwashing has been increased more than ever. The 'Handwashing on Wheels' will ensure easy access to handwashing facilities for the people on the move in Dhaka.”