Social isolation and frequent handwashing are the two most effective weapons against COVID-19’s global spread. Yet rural Africa is unable to implement those “simple” measures.
88.39% of Rural Africans do not have access to reliable water inside their house
This means that for millions, social isolation is not possible. The public water points, springs and boreholes are very crowded places. Many are lining up right now to get their jerricans filled with water. For urban areas, there is a slightly higher number of people safely managed water but still, they are not the majority. There is also a
277 million rural sub-Saharan African residents do not have a basic handwashing facility
This means that what should be a basic way and simple way to stop the spread of the COVID-19 is not available to 277 millions!
We must do everything possible to keep COVID-19 from reaching rural sub-Saharan areas. However, we should also be investing heavily in making sure that the residents have the basics to protect themselves.
What Water Access Rwanda is doing
In our own small scale way, we have upped efforts in:
•Connecting households inside their homes so they don’t have to line up at the kiosks.
•We plan to immediately connect 4 schools in the vicinity of our existing mini-grids to make sure students have a place to handwash when the schools re-open.
We are also keeping the public water points clean by:
•Keeping a safe distance among those who are lined up
•Making sure all who come to fetch water wash their hands first.
We are extremely concerned for our rural communities. We hope that COVID-19 raises awareness to how exposed we all are due to lack of access to simple necessities like clean safe water to wash our hands with.