Launching handwashing facilities at bus stations across Dar es Salaam
On Wednesday 10th June 2020, WaterAid Tanzania in collaboration with the University of Dar es Salaam launched new mass handwashing facilities at Ubungo Bus Terminal and three Bus Rapid Transit stations; Kimara, Gerezani and Kivukoni to contribute Government’s effort of preventing the spread of the coronavirus in Dar es Salaam.
Handwashing with clean water and soap for 20 seconds has shown to be one of the simplest yet effective ways to prevent COVID-19, as well as other infectious diseases. Therefore, during this time, it is vital that stakeholders come together to work with the Government in increasing access to appropriate handwashing facilities, to ensure that all citizens are able to practice this important hygiene behaviour.
With the majority of cases in Tanzania currently focused in Dar es Salaam, WaterAid Tanzania, and the University of Dar es Salaam, in collaboration with the Dar es Salaam City Council, have installed new handwashing facilities at Ubungo Bus Terminal, Kimara, Gerezani and Kivukoni BRT stations. These bus stations were identified as COVID-19 ‘high-risk areas’ as they are some of the busiest and most populated areas in the city. Through the above collaboration, WaterAid has funded the fabrication and installation of 7 hands-free handwashing facilities (4 at Ubungo bus terminal and at the three BRT stations) with a total of 59 taps and 59 soap remitters. Through building these mass handwashing facilities that are inclusive and sustainable, they are supporting all those passing through these stations to be able to practice handwashing with soap, therefore reducing the risk of catching the coronavirus.
These handwashing facilities showcase a new design, where the user does not need to use their hands to turn the tap – they simply use their feet to access clean water and soap, which ensures that the facilities themselves do not become contaminated. Additionally, these facilities offer access to people with disabilities. The four handwashing facilities at Ubungo Bus Terminal have the potential of serving around 5,280 people in one hour.
The facilities were officially launched by the Mayor of Dar es Salaam, with representatives from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children.
WaterAid Tanzania have always promoted handwashing with soap and water as part of our ongoing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and hygiene behaviour change programming. In the face of the threat posed by COVID-19, we are now scaling up our efforts to improve handwashing with soap. This is the moment we all need to act together to change people’s hygiene behaviours – for a generation, on a massive scale.