Today, the world continues to grapple with COVID-19 and its impact on many, including children, women, elderly and people living with disabilities. Access to water and sanitation is part of the first barrier against COVID-19. This is why the WASH First programme, an initiative of the WASH SDG Consortium, and with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been established. The overall goal of WASH First programme is the “promotion of health-related hygiene practices to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in at-risk countries through awareness raising and improved access to WASH services.”
Bundibugyo and Ntoroko in Uganda are two districts at high risk of the COVID-19, being at the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where the border is porous and it is difficult to control who passes this border. The WASH Alliance International (led by Simavi) launched the WASH First programme in these districts on November 2020.
The WASH Alliance International sub-programme in Bundibugyo and Ntoroko will be implemented by Caritas Fort Portal – HEWASA, JESE and WASEU, with support of IRC and Simavi. During the programme launch, the programme objectives and activities were introduced to the district stakeholders, as a way to coordinate alongside other government planned interventions.
During the implementation of the WASH First programme, quarterly review meetings and joint monitoring sessions with all the stakeholders and relevant implementing partners will be organised. Due to the pandemic, the launch was organized for a small group of representatives while observing the standard operating procedures and presidential directives on COVID-19.