WaterAid in Collaboration with WASH Sector in Liberia Actors Join the World to Mark Global Handwashing Day!

WaterAid Transboundary together with partners in Liberia would from October 13th-15th, 2015 mark Global Handwashing Day by raising nationwide awareness on the importance of Handwashing. To the awareness campaign will also urge governments including citizens to sustain the good handwashing practice as it is one of the cheapest, simplest, but most effective tools in preventing the spread of WASH related diseases includingdiarrhoea, cholera, trachoma, respiratory tract infection, etc. andthe fight against Ebola. There would be handwashing demonstration drama and talk shows with students and representatives from NGOs raising awareness on the importance of the day.The program willbring together key actors in the WASH sector including line Ministries, agencies, UN organizations, INGOs and LNGOs with the President of Liberia delivering the keynote address.As part of their own celebration, WaterAid in collaboration with the Liberia WASH Consortium and CSOs would hold lobby meetings for WASH visibility in county and social development funds in Grand Cape Mount County.

This year’s Global Handwashing Day follows the historic adoption of the new United Nations’ Global Goals on Sustainable Development for 2030. The goals, which were agreed on by 191 countries including Sierra Leone/Liberia containa goal focussed on access to water, sanitation and hygiene for all.

WaterAid is calling on officials to “finish the job” and ensure an indicatoron handwashing is included as a measure of progress for the goal on water and sanitation for all, to help achieve the full health benefits.

Chuchu Selma, Team Leader, WaterAidTransboundary (Liberia and Sierra Leone) Programmesaid: “Our school outreach and media engagements on Global Handwashing Day will help raise awareness of the importance of good hygiene practices for healthy, prosperous lives”.

Everyday across the world, 1,400 children underfivedie from diarrhoea caused by dirty water and poor sanitation and hygiene. We are now one step closer in ensuring such tragedy will be a thing of the past with the recent agreement of the Global Goals, which aim to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.

“However, there is still work to be done to ensure the world delivers on thepotential of these goals.WaterAid is calling for the vital role of handwashing to be included as an indicator for Goal 6, which works towards ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Frequently overlooked, hygiene, and in particular handwashing, make a massive difference to the health and wellbeing of the global population. Furthermore, handwashing is recognised as one of the most cost-effective development interventions by the World Bank.

It is often said that we ‘treasure what we measure’. Given the importance of hygiene, we strongly encourage member states to include an indicator to measure handwashing.”

According to the World Health Organization, providing soap and improving hygiene practices can cut cases of diarrhoea by up to 53%.

WaterAid puts a special focus on promoting good hygiene behaviour.Alongside women’s organisations, health, education and marketing partners, we are delivering effective campaigns to eliminate bad hygiene practices, such as defecating in the open.

To mark the Global Handwashing Day, WaterAid Transboundary would embark on series of media engagements – organize and participate in national television and radio flagship programmes, shall put articles in leading newspapers and disseminate messages to promote and urge authorities to enforce the good practise of handwashing being a major strategy in preventing deaths from diarrhoea and in the fight against EVD.