Global Hand Washing Day
October the 15th is Global Handwashing Day. Today is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Every year it’s celebrated with a different focus, and this year’s theme is “Clean Hands for All”. This is in the spirit of leaving nobody behind in the sustainable development agenda and helps to achieve many of the goals, such as good health and wellbeing, quality education and clean water and sanitation.
The first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008 when over 120 million children around the world had washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries. Since it was first celebrated, community and nation leaders have recognized the importance of the value of clean hands. Since then, Global Handwashing Day has continued to grow and is now endorsed by governments, schools, NGOs and many more – one of drop4drop’s main focus.
Improving the lack of clean water and sanitation in India and many countries of Africa is at the heart of drop4drop’s operation. This links closely with Global Handwashing Day, as handwashing with soap is a “do it yourself vaccine”, which prevents the spread of disease and infection, decreasing the travel of water-borne diseases. Seeing as half of the worlds hospital beds are filled with people suffering from water-related diseases, awareness of the importance of clean water is essential to achieving the SDGs and tackling the global water crisis.
In 2017, drop4drop worked as part of an emergency relief program, as South Sudan faced a serious humanitarian crisis and years of political unrest, civil wars and climate change. This combination of challenges resulted in a drastic increase in the cost of living, including a huge increase in the cost of water due to transportation and production costs. Given the challenges that the people of South Sudan face, clean water is often not a priority, resulting in a rapid spread of water-borne illnesses like Cholera. There is a lack of WASH development in this region, leaving many vulnerable to diseases. This is why Global Handwashing Day is so important to us, as we partnered with Christian Aid to ensure that vital WASH initiatives were provided in communities and the restoration of bore-wells ensured the access to clean and safe water, enabling safe sanitation practices during an emergency relief operation.
The current inequalities in handwashing and water facilities can put individuals and communities at greater risk for diseases that impact their health, affecting their education and economic outcomes. This year’s theme reminds us that we must be inclusive when addressing water and sanitation disparities and that no matter what, you can help us celebrate Global Handwashing Day. Be #partofthesolution and donate to a project or fund a dedicated well via the link on our website! Make sure to follow us on social media @drop4drop.