The world is facing an unprecedented crisis affecting all spheres of our lives and it is not only a health crisis. In the current rush to contain virus spreading and to treat an exponentially growing number of affected persons many forget about the importance of prevention and mitigation. The pandemic has only added to the already existing social pressures, vulnerabilities and inequalities. In a time of global health pandemic, existing lack of prioritization of resilient, accessible and affordable water and sanitation systems became even more visible than before.
World Health Organization (WHO) had given the recommendation on sanitation and hygiene to prevent COVID-19 spread from the very beginning:
· Frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most important measures that can be used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus. WASH practitioners should work to enable more frequent and regular hand hygiene by improving facilities and using proven behavior-change techniques.
· WHO guidance on the safe management of drinking-water and sanitation services applies to the COVID-19 outbreak. Extra measures are not needed. Disinfection will facilitate more rapid die-off of the COVID-19 virus.
· Many co-benefits will be realized by safely managing water and sanitation services and applying good hygiene practices.
As there are so many people affected there are also many more who can contribute to solving the issue. Further you will find different documents and courses from our partners and other organizations to help you learn more about the crisis and its effects on our lives from reliable sources.
· How can Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) address the health crisis?
· What tools and infrastructure do we need?
· What are the means of WASH?
· How do we deliver the importance of WASH?
The Expert Group on WASH (Humanitarian Aid) and the Global Programme Water (Global Cooperation) at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) headquarter have compiled a Working Aid to respond to the COVID-19 crises. This document is meant as a practical working aid to address immediate operational aspects of response proposals.
Study the World Bank - Global Water Security Partnership’s Factsheet called ‘The First Line of Defense in the Battle against COVID-19’.
‘New Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions’ from the Department of Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development