The COVID-19 pandemic requires a global response. 4 in 10 households worldwide still don’t have soap and water, meaning people cannot wash their hands to protect themselves from coronavirus.
As part of our COVID-19 response, WaterAid in South Africa has joined forces with the Department of Women, Youth and People living with Disabilities and UNFPA to distribute thousands of hygiene products including soap, face masks, sanitiser and sanitary pads. Thousands of girls who would normally get sanitary towels from school have not been able to while they closed during nationwide lockdowns, leaving many girls in shelters, rural areas and poorer communities struggling to get them.
We have also partnered with UNICEF to provide hand hygiene facilities to 15 schools in the rural Vhembe District and in Gauteng Province, and to install 50 handwashing stations in densely populated informal settlements in Johannesburg.
Our global response to COVID-19
South Africa is one of Africa’s most influential countries, especially across the southern region.
In 2012, the Water Research Commission – a group researching low-cost technologies for water, sanitation and hygiene in South Africa – offered to host us, and provided a central office in Pretoria.
This office builds strong partnerships with the South African Government, other governments, and influential organisations across the region. We work together to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone in the entire south of the African continent.
Without all three, people can’t live dignified, healthy lives. With all three, they can unlock their potential, break free from poverty, and change their lives for good.