The Nimule and Mugali communities’ habit of infrequent hand washing practices has improved due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Experiences has shown that it is very hard to enforce regular hand washing practices among the community after visiting toilet, touching dirty objects and before suckling babies.  With the outbreak of COVID-19, scientists have advised that regular hand washing practices with soap helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

HUMAES, with support from UNDP, are implementing a hand washing project in Nimule and Mugali Payams. The project targets public places and vulnerable households.  In public places, soap and hand washing facilities are placed in markets, hotels, clinics, hospitals, barracks, at the check point, banks, police station, prison, wildlife and local government offices to encourage regular hand washing.

Besides, at household level, see saw techniques of using 5 litre jerrycans are contracted as hand washing facilities. The technique requires poles, strings and a 5 litre jerrycan with a hole made near the top. Two holes are dug and two poles are fixed in the holes and the tops of the two poles are connected with another pole. A jerrycan full of water is tied on a pole which connects the two poles. Then the lid of the jerrycan is connected with a string and tied to a stick. The water in the jerrycan keeps the stick in suspension. Once the stick is pressed down using one leg, the string pulls the jerrycan downwards so that water comes out of the hole for hand washing.

Child washes her hands at a local hand washing facility

The hand washing facility is very simple and it was voted the best hand washing facility by Pageri County Health Department (CHD) because it is operated by one leg, and has no contact with the hands during the hand washing exercise. Hence, this helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The only challenge now facing us is an insufficient number of 5 litre jerrycans and hand washing soap. HUMAES urges anybody who is interested in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 to help these poor communities with 5 litre jerrycans and hand washing soap.  It is a large community and the demand is great.