Water Mission expands COVID-19 help to vulnerable international communities
“We have the privilege of washing our hands with safe water on a routine basis in the United States, but many vulnerable communities lack basic access to safe water and soap for proper handwashing,” said Water Mission President and COO George C. Greene IV, PE.
Located in N. Charleston, Water Mission is a nonprofit Christian engineering organization that designs, builds, and implements safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas. The organization recently received a $1.5 million grant from the Poul Due Jensen Foundation (Grundfos Foundation) to expand its ongoing response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The funding provides critical resources for COVID-19 preventative efforts, including an initiative to provide under-resourced communities with handwashing stations.
“Most developing countries are poorly equipped to handle a pandemic of the proportions we have seen in some European countries,” said Kim Nøhr Skibsted, Executive Director, Poul Due Jensen Foundation (Grundfos Foundation). “To help avoid a humanitarian disaster, we are expanding our existing engagement with Water Mission in a number of countries to focus on minimizing the spread of the virus in vulnerable communities and health facilities.”
This generous grant enables Water Mission to expand and expedite a relief effort that includes the deployment of technical staff and handwashing equipment aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. The funding supports the delivery of timely, COVID-19-specific hygiene training within vulnerable communities in order to reinforce social distancing, proper handwashing, and other measures that will help to prevent the spread of this virus.
In addition, the grant will allow Water Mission to install handwashing stations in refugee settlements and at crowded water access points, healthcare facilities, and other high-traffic areas in communities where it currently has a presence. By reinforcing handwashing best practices and social distancing at these busy locations, Water Mission is working to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Water Mission brings almost two decades of disaster and crisis response expertise as it continues to expand its international response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our long-standing relationship with the Poul Due Jensen Foundation plays a critical role supporting our ongoing global COVID-19 response, enabling us to expand and accelerate the impact of providing safe water and handwashing facilities in refugee settlements and under-resourced communities.”
Water Mission’s global disaster response program to COVID-19 has seven priorities:
1. Enhance safety and security procedures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission for everyone they serve and their staff;
2. Strengthen and support existing Water Mission presence in vulnerable communities;
3. Ensure continuous safe water availability at health facilities;
4. Respond to COVID-19 specific emergency response water and sanitation requests;
5. Promote COVID-19 hygiene-related training and risk mitigation awareness programs;
6. Stock and distribute critical supplies and consumables, accounting for potential delays in availability ; and
7. Continue normal program work bringing safe water and sanitation to more communities
Visit watermission.org/covid19/ for more information on Water Mission’s COVID-19 response.