COVID-19 Emergency Programme

The DWN/NCE COVID-19 emergency programme provides hand washing kits to informal settlement residents across Namibia. Through a DWN network of 240 volunteers, more than 38,000 kits have been installed to date in 17 towns (August 2020).

COVID-19 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 the Namibian Chamber of Environment (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 sensitise household members on Covid-19 and how to prevent it. More than 100,000 relevant flyers have been distribute to date (see publications section to download the flyers in six different languages).

Home-Based Early Childhood Development and Food Security

With the support of the Botnar Foundation and technical support from UNICEF and the EU, we have been testing a pilot programme to support children and their families to promote home-based Early Childhood Development during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a natural extension of our other activities in these areas, as kindergartens are already important community hubs that we have used as central points during our sanitation programmes.

Through this programme, kindergarten teachers provide learning materials, food vouchers, information and support to the households of children enrolled in their centres. The teachers develop activities for children, and guidance for parents to facilitate home-based learning and how to safeguard against COVID-19.

Regular updates on our progress with the Covid-19 Emergency Programme can be downloaded from our Publications page.