On May 4th, 2021, UWASNET launched a contactless six-tap hand washing with soap facility at Vurra border point in Arua city. The facility aims at limiting the transmission and minimizing impacts and threats of Covid-19 and other WASH-related illnesses in Vurra, Arua and the larger West Nile region. The rainwater fed hand washing facility was constructed with financial support from WaterAid East Africa Regional Team (WAERT) and monitoring support from the East African Secretariat.
The hand washing facility is the first of its kind in Uganda and builds on a partnership that WaterAid East Africa Regional Team has initiated together with the East African Community (EAC) to limit transmission and minimizing impacts and threats of Covid-19 through joint and collaborative approaches. Similar initiatives are on-going in three other East Africa countries namely Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.
In Uganda, UWASNET partnered with the Ministry of Water and Environment’s Appropriate Technologies Centre (ATC) which designed and constructed the hand washing facility. UWASNET also partnered with local partners namely its West Nile regional Coordinator named Rural Initiatives for Community Empowerment West Nile (RICE WN), the Ovisoni Town Board and a private land owner called Mr. Avutia Ronald Kizito who offered land to construct the facility.
The hand washing facility is located right opposite the Immigration and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) border customs offices in Vurra, Arua and will facilitate hand washing with soap and water to limit the transmission and impacts of Covid-19 and other WASH related illnesses amongst cross-border communities that access the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Under the partnership with WaterAid, UWASNET was contributing to realising three objectives aimed at strengthening existing interventions aimed at improving WASH service delivery along identified East African border points and sensitizing and creating awareness on behaviour change as a protection measure against Covid-19 response in the East African Community region.
During the launch, a number of key representatives participated in the launch including officials from Arua District Local Government, Uganda Revenue Authority, Immigration, the security organisations, media, private sector, CSOs, and community members.
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