The battle against covid continues.
In November SCEC (Sebakwe Conservation & Education Centre) in Zimbabwe’s Midlands reached out to ten primary schools in their area, encouraging hand washing and the use of face masks among teachers and students. “One of our objectives was to increase hand washing points in the schools, especially at the entrance into the schools, at the toilet blocks, and near entrances into the classrooms. None of the schools had hand washing points at their toilets.” Some had tippy taps, but not all were in use. “In one school we had to explain and demonstrate what a tippy tap is and how it works as they had not seen one before. They were pleased at how such a simple solution, can have such a much needed impact.” SCEC contributed twine, water containers to make tippy taps with and soap concentrate to encourage and reinforce the importance of hand washing. There were also face masks embroidered with conservation messages, for those most in need. The majority of families in this area lack the means to buy or know-how to make face masks.
Unfortunately Covid cases in Zimbabwe nearly doubled over the festive period, causing government to close schools and impose a lock-down for January. SCEC Manager Palloma (above) has written that “Covid has not spared our area, for most, including myself we are hearing of deaths of people we know and its very sad. This time around, unlike the 2020 shutdown, whereby the army and the police had a lot of work ensuring people adhere to lockdown measures, the reality of the pandemic has sunk in and most individuals are consciously ensuring that they stick to these measures without any persuasion.”
It’s encouraging that teachers have been in touch, even sharing photos of hand washing points they have set up at the entrances to their homes. Hopefully the hygiene and sanitation practices instilled in response to COVID will stand these communities in good stead as they move forward post pandemic.
Download our PACE Action sheet 27 Wash Your Hands it includes instructions on making a Tippy Tap
Download our PACE Action sheet 28 Making Soap
Empowering local communities – for the health, well-being and safety of all Africa’s people, wildlife and habitats.