Windfarm brings clean energy (and hands) to Kouga kids
16 October 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201916722
AS the world celebrated another annual Global Handwashing Day yesterday, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) emphasised the fact that the very simple act of handwashing with soap can save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children who needlessly die every year.
Child mortality figures released by the UNICEF in 2018 show that some 2000 children under five die each day from diarrhoeal diseases, of which some 1800 children per day, die due to a lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene.
As part of advocating for clean hands and improved hygiene facilitated learning sessions, Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s development programme is reaching hundreds of young children across 20 Early Childhood Development centres and 14 Primary Schools, within the Kouga Municipality area.
Global Handwashing Day on 15th October is an annual advocacy initiative dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
Caroll Warmberg, Managing Director, ITEC, the service provider responsible for the implementation Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm funded programme said illnesses related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are the world’s greatest threat to young children. Pneumonia and diarrhea claim the lives of more children under age five than measles, AIDS, and malaria combined.
“Knowledge can be a powerful antidote—that’s why proper WASH education is so critical,” she said.
“The programme looks at how to engage the children in a playful engaging way and how to help the children to become independent in their WASH routines through demonstration of and support for step-by-step processes.
“We want the message to spread from children to families to communities. It is critically important that handwashing with soap becomes routine for everyone. As diarrhoeal diseases are basically faecal-oral in nature, one of the simplest and most inexpensive barriers to infection is handwashing with soap at critical times, such as before handling food and after using the toilet.”