OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Our dedicated teams around the world are focusing on the critical needs in the 18 countries we serve by mobilizing churches and communities and by providing safe water, sanitation, and hygiene.
People worldwide are facing increasingly desperate circumstances as a result of the lack of handwashing stations and access to safe water. Studies have shown that as COVID-19 continues to spread across the world, regions like Sub-Saharan Africa will see devastating effects. We know that handwashing continues to be one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, 75 percent of households in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have handwashing stations with water and soap1 and 43 percent of healthcare facilities around the world don’t have safe water or handwashing stations at points of care.2
But there is hope! Living Water is redoubling our efforts to provide safe water and life-saving knowledge of good hygiene supplies in the most vulnerable communities and healthcare facilities around the world with the following response priorities:
- Mobilizing churches and communities to limit the spread of disease
- Improving water supply and handwashing facilities in vulnerable communities and healthcare facilities
- Promoting infection prevention and control through public information campaigns
- Distributing hygiene supplies and personal protective equipment to communities and health care facilities
SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, LIVING WATER HAS:
STORIES FROM THE FIELD
In Honduras, we empowered 45 local churches to help their neighbors prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Choluteca, Marcovia, and Namasigue municipalities. The Living Water team distributed desperately needed hygiene kits containing household cleaners, disinfectants, hand soap, face masks, and disposable gloves. We mobilized church leaders to protect themselves and their community from COVID-19 and trained community members directly by holding COVID-19 awareness sessions alongside the completion of water projects.
In Ruhango, Rwanda, our team partnered with district government officials to develop preventative measures, including for the Ruhango main market which serves up to 2,500 people every day. Open-air markets in Rwanda are the main sources of food. We recommended safety measures like requiring shoppers to wear facial coverings and encouraging social distancing of a least two meters from one individual to another.
The Rwanda team also provided pedal-operated “tippy taps” (simple handwashing stations) at the market entry points. Now residents can purchase the essential supplies they need for their families while also practicing healthy hygiene habits.
In Peru, Living Water was deemed essential by the government, and our team was able to continue drilling water projects and leading sanitation and hygiene trainings with a focus on COVID-19 prevention. The Living Water Peru staff works largely with remote, indigenous communities that mistrust government officials. The longstanding, trusting relationship our locally led team established over many years has been critical in reaching rural communities with COVID-19 prevention resources.
COVID-19 Emergency Fact Sheet
Read more details about our program objectives, priorities, funding needs, and updated goal tracking.
HOW CAN I HELP?
Please join us in prayer for the health of vulnerable communities and for those providing relief in response to COVID-19.
You can financially support this critical work and provide hope in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clean hands save lives! Will you help us continue providing physical and spiritual relief for communities vulnerable to COVID-19?
If you are interested in reading further about Living Water’s continual efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and serve vulnerable communities, see the following additional resources.
-Living Water’s COVID-19 Church Response Guide to help churches respond to the pandemic
-Voices of America feature: “Wash Your Hands” Is Tough Message Across Africa
-World News Group feature: “Lending a Hand”
-Devex feature: “What Does A COVID-19 Response Look Like with Limited Water?”
1 UNICEF and World Health Organization (2019) Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017: Special focus on inequalities, New York
2 UNICEF and World Health Organization (2019) WASH in health care facilities: Global Baseline Report 2019, Geneva.