We're deploying our water, handwashing and hygiene expertise to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in more than 30 countries. Our work has never been more relevant or more urgent.

We're committed to keeping you updated on the programs that are only made possible by your ongoing support. 

What is WaterAid doing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19?

We're urgently refocusing our support to help people in the communities where we work to stay safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  1. WaterAid is creating COVID-19 specific responses by providing national communications, information, materials and training on water, sanitation and hygiene to frontline health workers and health posts in rural areas.
  2. We are providing education to locals about low-cost solutions for handwashing infrastructure, such as tippy taps.
  3. We are providing information on how to make soap from locally available materials, to enable handwashing with soap and water.
  4. WaterAid is conducting direct community outreach and visiting rural communities to spread the World Health Organization and National Department of Health awareness messaging to prepare locals for COVID-19.

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See some of the work we're doing across our country program

Bangladesh

WaterAid Bangladesh is aiming to reach close to 10 million people with their hygiene promotion activities. They are encouraging handwashing using social media campaigns, awareness videos and hanging banners in schools and hospitals. The campaign called ‘Fight Corona,’ will reach over two million people online and, by collaborating with top radio, the campaign will reach another one million people.

Furthermore, they are providing free handwashing devices that will reach 100,000 people in public areas such as bus stops, railway stations, markets and shopping malls. WaterAid Bangladesh has developed a list of technological options for handwashing stations based on geographical context, space, accessibility and costing of materials.

WaterAid Bangladesh is aiming to reach close to 10 million people with their hygiene promotion activities. They are encouraging handwashing using social media campaigns, awareness videos and hanging banners in schools and hospitals. The campaign called ‘Fight Corona,’ will reach over two million people online and, by collaborating with top radio, the campaign will reach another one million people.

Furthermore, they are providing free handwashing devices that will reach 100,000 people in public areas such as bus stops, railway stations, markets and shopping malls. WaterAid Bangladesh has developed a list of technological options for handwashing stations based on geographical context, space, accessibility and costing of materials.

Burkina Faso

WaterAid Burkina Faso is in discussion with local partners to develop an emergency package for handwashing in healthcare facilities and public spaces. They have developed and disseminated key messages that encourage handwashing and are using local media and radio adverts to encourage positive hygiene behaviours and to prevent the spread of coronavirus

WaterAid Burkina Faso also supplied 156 handwashing devices and 312 balls of soap to school WASH projects in the provinces of Boulgou and Kourittenga. 31 primary schools and 8 post-primary schools were each provided with at least four handwashing devices and eight soap balls. This donation is part of WaterAid Burkina Faso’s fight against COVID-19 and part of the preparatory measures undertaken by the government for the resumption of classes. Handwashing devices and soap will help improve hygiene conditions in these schools and allow students and teachers to confidently carry on studies and teaching in the coming days.

Burkina Faso

Cambodia

In Cambodia, 29% of the population does not have access to a handwashing facility with soap and water. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WaterAid Cambodia team in Kampong Chhnang has been supporting the provincial and district governments in spreading hygiene awareness messages to some of the rural communities in Chul Kiri district.

This effort has been led by WaterAid and the Provincial Department of Rural Development, who is responsible for community health, sanitation and hygiene. WaterAid is supplying campaign materials and the finances to hire vehicles with loudspeakers. It builds on their support to the provincial and district water, sanitation and hygiene coordination working groups.

Colombia

We are installing public handwashing stations, prioritizing support for already vulnerable indigenous communities and developing hygiene communications campaigns to reach rural communities in their native languages.

Handwashing

Ethiopia

The WaterAid team in Ethiopia has distributed 50 water tanks with 5,000-litre capacity, 2,500 litres of alcohol and more than 1,000 bars of laundry soaps to health centers and temporary COVID-19 treatment sites in Addis Ababa, the country's capital city.

eSwatini

With support from ABInBEV (Eswatini Beverages), WaterAid Eswatini provided five group hand-washing stations in rural areas as well as hygiene supplies for market vendors. This project involved cooperation with the National Disaster Management Agency, members of Parliament, Community leaders and ABInBEV representatives.

A rural population of about 150,000 people will use these facilities and the Local Governments (Tinkhundla) and community leaders have committed to maintaining the facilities for sustained handwashing practice after the COVID-19 pandemic is resolved.

Ghana

WaterAid Ghana has been utilizing radio and social media to highlight and answer frequently asked questions about the coronavirus. They also give tips on self-protection and have created videos and images to promote handwashing. This includes the ‘I Stand for Clean Hands Campaign’ which encourages good hygiene.

Since March, when Ghana confirmed two cases of COVID-19, WaterAid Ghana has been working with the government and Ghana Health Services. Providing hygiene materials and other personal protective equipment to the Bongo and Kassena Nankana West Districts to help fight against COVID-19. WaterAid Ghana hopes this will protect doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers in the Bongo and Kassena Nankana West District as they care for patients suffering from the virus. The resources include 30 hygiene bucket sets comprising of 100-litre buckets with waste bins, tissue and soap; non-contact thermometers; 2 boxes of masks, 350 5-litre gallons of liquid soap and 350 bottles of 250ml liquid soap.

India

WaterAid India has started an 8-day campaign promoting good hygiene practices that will help in the fight against COVID-19. The campaign uses digital images/posters, audio messages and video in six Indian languages and English. It will be disseminated through text messages, WhatsApp, community radio, local TV channels and loudspeakers in the community.

Madagascar

Due to the remote communities and villages in Madagascar, two WaterAid staff members conducted a road trip to ensure that as many people as possible know about the virus and are informed about the best methods of prevention.

When asked why it was so important, Liva, the driver responded:

"There are so many people here in Madagascar who don’t know what it is, how it spreads, how to avoid it and many people don’t even have soap or something to wash their hands. I am motivated by my humanitarian spirit, patriotism and will do what I can to help people to protect themselves from the virus. So, let’s do it buddy, to keep everyone safe from coronavirus.

As the scale of this pandemic becomes clear, our team in Madagascar has taken additional steps. Taking advantage of the empty schools that are closed because of the virus, we have been working to disinfect the schools so they can be used as temporary shelters for the homeless population. Some team members are donating some of their hygiene supplies to equip these temporary shelters.

Malawi

The WaterAid Malawi team is currently working closely with the government to create COVID-19 related messaging for public health materials, jingles for radio and phone ringtones. Also, the local team is working to provide handwashing facilities and other supplies in hospitals.

The messaging campaign is focussing on ‘how men play their part in collecting water in times of crisis’. This will not only improve the local response to the current crisis but create long-term benefits. Additionally, using an innovative approach to ensure everyone is well protected against COVID-19, WaterAid Malawi has come up with an intervention where no one has to touch the sanitation or water facilities in order to access them.

Mozambique

A Mobile Car Campaign that will target residents of 43 municipal districts of Maputo spreading educational messages and raising awareness about the importance of prevention of COVID-19 was launched by WaterAid Mozambique, with the strategic partners: Municipality of Maputo City and the Ministry of Health of Mozambique. There is a giant billboard on the car with messages about proper handwashing procedure on one side and strategies to prevent the spread of the virus on the other. The mobile car also has a megaphone through which audios containing important information on the prevention of the pandemic are being broadcasted.

Myanmar

WaterAid Myanmar is using social media and other promotional methods using visual illustrations (posters) to reach 400,000 people in densely populated villages with messaging about critical hygiene practices.

The local team is using social media to post videos, images and messages which are culturally conscious to engage with around four million people. By working with the Government, corporate houses and other CSOs, WaterAid Myanmar hopes to reach a large portion of the population through videos, TV discussions, awareness information and handwashing posters.

Nepal

WaterAid Nepal has been creating and distributing flyers and posters in many local languages, with information on how to practice good hygiene. Their hygiene promotion campaign has also included COVID-19 information on posters across 70 bus routes, in public toilets and health care facilities.

WaterAid Nepal has also supplied 50 contactless handwashing stations inside Kathmandu Valley and 25 in Lahan Municipality, Siraha district. The goal is to enable safe access to handwashing stations in all essential areas.

Nicaragua

WaterAid is working in Nicaragua to install handwashing stations in public places like clinics, stations and markets, prioritizing already vulnerable indigenous populations. We are also reaching people in urban and rural areas with key hygiene messages in their native language.

Nicaragua

Pakistan

WaterAid Pakistan is working with WHO, UNICEF and the Government to accelerate action and help improve hygiene facilities in key locations. Some of their urgent work includes providing handwashing facilities, hygiene essentials like soap, gloves, surgical masks and menstrual hygiene kits across the country.

Papua New Guinea

To respond to COVID-19 in PNG, WaterAid is implementing a major national hygiene and COVID-19 awareness campaign. This national campaign will run on billboards, print advertising, radio, television and social media to promote hygiene and COVID-19 awareness.

The team is also providing information on how to make soap from locally available materials, to enable handwashing with soap and water and provide and educate locals with low-cost solutions for handwashing infrastructure, such as tippy-taps.

WaterAid is conducting direct community outreach. Our staff have been visiting rural communities to spread World Health Organization and National Department of Health awareness messaging to prepare locals for COVID-19. WaterAid has been working to dispel any myths related to COVID-19 and provide facts and information on the pandemic, to ensure preparedness.

Rwanda

WaterAid has been supporting radio stars in Rwanda to produce a series of radio dramas to share messages about handwashing and hygiene. By tapping into the influence of these stars we can reach a large audience with a critical message which will help in the fight against COVID-19.

Sierra Leone

With limited public health infrastructure, slowing the spread of COVID-19 has been critical to protecting Sierra Leone’s population of nearly 8 million. In late March, Sierra Leone confirmed the first case in-country, put in place a temporary lockdown, and began a COVID-19 response.

WaterAid Sierra Leone are in the field distributing handwashing stations, soap and hygiene materials to Health Care facilities in our program areas to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Sierra Leone

South Africa

WaterAid Zambia are working with the Ministry of Health on preparing for both prevention and response in the event of an increase in cases of COVID-19.

The WaterAid team has been providing materials to support good hygiene practices, developing social distancing stickers for use in supermarkets, banks and other public places and providing a number of hands-free handwashing stations, soap, disinfectants and personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks. ⁠⠀

Tanzania

WaterAid is supporting the Government to disseminate messages about hand hygiene through radio, television and social media campaigns. We are also working to scale up handwashing facilities in busy areas in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, such as bus stations.

Tanzania

Timor-Leste

WaterAid Zambia are working with the Ministry of Health on preparing for both prevention and response in the event of an increase in cases of COVID-19.

The WaterAid team has been providing materials to support good hygiene practices, developing social distancing stickers for use in supermarkets, banks and other public places and providing a number of hands-free handwashing stations, soap, disinfectants and personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks. ⁠⠀

Uganda

WaterAid Uganda Country Director Jane Mselle Sembuche and Samuel Sserunkuma, Deputy Executive Director of the Kampala Capital City Authority, demonstrate how a handwashing tank works. WaterAid provided the city with more than 60 handwashing station in public places. These 150-liter tanks are fitted with water-efficient taps and foot operated valve to minimize contamination.

COVID Handwashing

Zambia

WaterAid Zambia is working with the Ministry of Health on preparing for both prevention and response in the event of an increase in cases of COVID-19.

The WaterAid team has been providing materials to encourage good hygiene practices, developing social distancing stickers for use in supermarkets, banks and other public places and providing several hands-free handwashing stations, soap, disinfectants and personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks. ⁠⠀