During 2020, DWN and the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) implemented a COVID-19 emergency programme, providing hand washing kits to residents of informal settlements across Namibia. Through a DWN network of more than 300 volunteers, a total of some 68,000 kits were installed in 20 towns by the end of the year.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a special threat to those living in informal settlements on the edges of cities around the world. One of the best ways to prevent infection and the spread of the virus is washing hands with soap on a regular basis. In mid-March, DWN launched a project with NCE to help reduce the vulnerability of informal settlement dwellers by installing Tippy Taps.
A Tippy Tap is a simple structure made from wood or steel poles, a rope, and a plastic water container. The container can be filled with water or a mixture of water and liquid soap. To use a Tippy Tap, one needs only to step on a plank attached to a rope that pulls the water container to allow the liquid to flow out onto your hands. Thus, a person can wash their hands without touching a tap and with minimal water wastage.
Each time our green-shirted volunteers build a new Tippy Tap, they take a GPS point that enables us to map our progress and plan our movements through the settlements. This map is updated regularly and published here. Besides installing tippy taps, the volunteers talk to residents of the homes where the tippy tap is installed, and explain the importance of hand washing. They also educate household members on COVID-19 and how to prevent it. More than 500,000 relevant flyers were distributed during 2020 (see publications section to download the flyers in six different languages).