As the country continues to strengthen efforts to mitigate the transmission of corona virus (COVID-19), USAID Isuku Iwacu Activity joined the fight by building state-of–the-art handwashing stations in the eight districts of Nyanza, Ruhango, Kicukiro, Rwamagana, Kayonza, Ngoma, Nyabihu and Kicukiro where it operates.
District officials in the districts where the handwashing facilities were launched have commended the support of USAID Isuku Iwacu citing that it goes a long way in promoting the handwashing culture which is key in the fight against the transmission of COVID 19.
The Mayor of Nyanza District, Erasme Ntazinda, thanked USAID Isuku Iwacu stating that the new handwashing facility will the serve the population more effectively than the initial step and wash taps where one individual had to wash hands as the rest wait in line.
“With this facility, hygiene is guaranteed. The taps are well spaced to allow social distancing and many people can wash hands at the same time. We are grateful to USAID Isuku Iwacu for the strong partnership that has helped to promote hygiene and sanitation in Nyanza district,” Ntazinda said, during the launch of the handwashing station, this week.
The Vice Mayor for Social Affairs in Rwamagana district, Jeanne Umutoni noted that the district has put a lot of effort in building handwashing stations at key places where many people convene such as market areas, the taxi park, health facilities and at the district office which serves the population on a daily basis.
“With partners like USAID Isuku Iwacu, we got the support we needed to achieve the goal of constructing such a handwashing facility at the district offices which attract a lot of people every day. This is not the first time that USAID Isuku Iwacu has supported us to achieve key goals. The project has also played a significant role in increasing coverage of latrines/toilets at household level to promote sanitation and hygiene,” Umutoni said.
Jeanne Umutoni, Vice Mayor for Social Affairs in Rwamagana District.
In Ruhango district, the Vice Mayor for social affairs, Alphonsine Mukangenzi also hailed USAID Iskuk Iwacu’s partnership adding that not only does the project
“In our collective fight against COVID19 transmission, we have seen the value of such partnerships. The fight still goes on and we are inculcating a culture of handwashing among other prevention measures. This facility will go a long way in serving many people at this market at the same time,” she said.
The Vice Mayor for social affairs in Ruhango district, Alphonsine Mukangenzi together with the Program Director for USAID Isuku Iwacu, Richard Nyirishema.
The Program Director of USAID Isuku Iwacu, Richard Nyirishema noted that the project is known for partnering with these districts to improve hygiene and sanitation.
“In these unique times where our country is strengthening efforts to control transmission of COVID 19, we decided to join the cause and build these handwashing facilities in the eight districts where we work. The facilities also cater for children and people with disabilities,” Nyirishema said.
The handwashing stations have been strategically located in public places such as district offices where they serve close to 500 people per day, at public taxi parks where they serve about 2000 people a day and at market places which attract over 2000 people a day.
As part of the response efforts for the outbreak of the COVID-19 in Rwanda, the population has been called upon to adopt a culture of regular handwashing, wearing face masks in public and practicing social distancing.
USAID Isuku Iwacu is a 4-year Activity that was awarded in 2016 to improve sanitation of one million Rwandans in eight targeted districts to live in open defecation-free (ODF) environments. The activity is implemented by SNV, Water for People and World Vision.
The project aims to help over 500,000 Rwandans gain access to improved household sanitation. Among the other activities, USAID Isuku Iwacu has also supported households in the eight districts to improve sanitation by constructing and improving latrine facilities.