As COVID-19 spreads throughout East Africa, Well Aware is rapidly responding to protect the health and wellbeing of the 270,000+ people we've supplied clean water to since 2010.
Most of our partner communities live in rural areas across Kenya and Tanzania, and are particularly vulnerable to the spread of the virus. We know COVID-19 will cause significant damage in these remote communities due to the lack of medical infrastructure, short supply of soap and handwashing stations, and the gap in vital information that is accessible.
well aware's response
We know basic hygiene can reduce illness in rural communities by 64%, and that proper handwashing can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, specifically. We also know that 34% of Kenyans between the ages of 18 and 34 own a smartphone, and that most local leaders in our partner communities have access to mobile technology. That’s why we’re partnering with Well Beyond to leverage existing technology and deploy an app-based WASH tool that will meet this crisis head-on. Through this mobile app, we can equip our partner communities with the tools needed to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives. Here's what it provides:
Interactive WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) training
Local leaders can access the training they need -- like handwashing practices and disease prevention strategies -- to better equip their communities against the spread of the virus.
Guidance on creating DIY soap & handwashing stations
Vital hygiene tools can be difficult to find in remote areas. The app helps individuals build their own tools and take other actions to improve handwashing rates.
Instructions for DIY face masks
Masks can be unaffordable or hard to come by in remote areas. The app will instruct individuals on how to create their own masks, using existing materials in their homes, to help protect themselves from the virus.
Real-time chat support to help fight COVID-19
Individuals can chat remotely with our Nairobi-based staff for personalized WASH recommendations and support.
Customized activity tracking & impact measurement
Communities can access customizable checklists, track training completions and collect data. This will allow local leaders to better measure impact and ensure results.
how can YOU help?
We launched the Emergency WASH Fund to scale this vital WASH solution and protect vulnerable communities from the spread of COVID-19. We need your help to raise funds & spread awareness about this important initiative.
1) Donate to the Emergency WASH Fund. Every dollar you give will make a difference in fighting COVID-19 and protecting vulnerable populations across East Africa. Your gift today can help a child wash their hands, or empower a teacher to train students on virus prevention. Your urgent support can save lives.
2) Help fundraise & raise awareness. Amplify your impact by becoming a fundraising advocate. Create a Facebook fundraiser. Ask your friends & family to support you. Email your network. Add the link to your bio on Instagram. Share posts from Well Aware's channels. You could even ask people you know to donate $0.25, $0.50, or $1 each time you wash your hands. Contact us to brainstorm ideas.
Looking for another way to make a difference? Email us today to discuss other opportunities to help.
Together, we can prepare & protect rural East African communities FROM COVID-19.
Below are stories from local leaders about the challenges their communities are facing.
New Hope, Tanzania
"There is not much soap here. Some people are not washing their hands frequently. Other people do not believe in the virus. Some know how to prevent the virus, but not all. And, we're not social distancing because people have to continue with their normal work. Masks are available but some people cannot afford to buy the quality masks. The current situation is hard...we are still at home, no school. The biggest concern is economic regress." - Salma, head teacher & water committee lead in the New Hope community. (Arusha, Tanzania)
Sauti Kuu, Kenya
“It is quite a challenging time for the community we work with, as the pandemic has created a lot of fear, uncertainty and financial distress. Most lack the adequate conditions, such as access to masks, soap and clean water, to protect themselves from infection. Community members are currently relying on updates from the government and the mainstream media to determine movement and work. Due to a national curfew, and a lockdown in some areas, the incomes of casual workers in the informal sector has come to a halt, causing further need and vulnerability." - Dan from the Sauti Kuu Foundation. (Siaya County, Western Kenya)
"The water is helping in handwashing and also has been extended to farms for irrigation. This way, the community is able to provide food for subsistence besides the harsh economic time. But life is not the same with the corona scare. Only some homesteads have access to soap. We have cancelled all public events. Some cannot afford masks, so they share... The elderly in Maasai sit under trees during the day where we discuss community issues and solve family issues." - Jeremiah, Sub-Area Chief in the Alamach community (Isiolo County, Kenya)
What is currently happening in East Africa with the coronavirus?
The cases of COVID-19 are expected to peak in the coming weeks with forecasting of anywhere from 300,000 to millions of deaths. Many official sources report that the pandemic will hit the African continent the hardest due to the lack of medical infrastructure and difficulties in tracking. The WHO, as well as the government of Kenya, maintain that proper WASH training is the best defense against the spread of coronavirus in rural African communities.
What is WASH and why are you doing it?
The WASH Response is Well Aware’s way of helping reduce the spread of COVID-19 in East Africa. WASH is an acronym used in the water sector that means Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (most commonly used in efforts to educate about Sanitation and Hygiene). In rural areas, the spread of information is very slow, and access to vital tools, such as handwashing stations and soap, is very limited. So, Well Aware is partnering with Well Beyond to distribute vital information and tools to our partner communities to ensure communities are better equipped to handle the aggressive spread of COVID-19 in these regions. This critical information will be delivered via an interactive mobile app and will help local leaders and community stakeholders leverage existing resources within their communities.
More About Well Beyond
Well Beyond is a social enterprise leveraging technology and expertise to improve and increase clean water access globally. They are developing and deploying mobile technology to close the gap in Operation and Maintenance in the rural water supply sector.