Living Water International, a global Christian non-governmental organization dedicated to developing global clean water and hygiene solutions, has been tasked by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support vital WASH (water, access, sanitation and hygiene) programs that will help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus among vulnerable, low-income, and housing stable populations.
In countries throughout East Africa, including Kenya, Living Water International will help bolster programs for hundreds of thousands of people that increase regular hand hygiene and washing by strengthening hundreds of handwashing facilities, instituting proven behavior change techniques, along with ensuring safe management of public water and sanitation systems.
“The combination of boundary-spanning challenges has put humanity in unchartered territory, said Mike Mantel, President and CEO, Living Water International. “Living Water’s past success fighting outbreaks of Zika and Ebola has shown that WASH interventions for physical relief and spiritual relief are a powerful combination, especially in times of crisis.”
Living Water’s “Flourish Program” model helps engage community faith leaders to teach WASH techniques during this time of crisis. Pastors and other community leaders are being given WASH toolkits to help their congregations and communities effectively learn best handwashing, hygiene and sanitation practices.
As an international WASH leader, Living Water International has a tenured history of effective public health responses to global disease outbreaks. From 2014-16, Living Water’s WASH programs in West Africa and South America helped mitigate the spread of the Ebola and Zika virus epidemics in particularly vulnerable and susceptible communities. In fact, inside Living Water’s WASH program areas, Ebola took zero lives, in large part, because of Living Water’s proper hygiene and water sanitation programs.
“Our Living Water International team is working around the clock to make certain that our WASH program messaging, resources and field work support staff is available to communities in need across the African continent,” said Maitabel Okumu, Public Health and WASH Programming Specialist, Living Water International. “We are working closely with ministers of health and community leadership to help spread optimal hygiene and sanitation practices, and we are helping ensure that our partners have the critical resources available to help keep as many people safe as possible from COVID-19.”
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Every day, millions of women and children in the developing world must make a dangerous, miles-long trek to access clean drinking water. For the past 30 years, Living Water has cultivated sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene programs within these developing countries to provide access to safe water in Jesus’ name.