Oxfam in West Africa
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Liberia Government Encourages Resource Mobilisation for WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene)

October 17th, 2008 Posted in English, Health, Uncategorized

Global Hand washing Day Celebration

Wednesday, October 15, 2008, the first ever-Global Hand washing Day (GHD) was celebrated in Liberia and 75 other countries around the world. Various partners in Liberia, led by the Ministries of Education and Health & Social Welfare promoted hand-washing with soap (or with ashes in the absence of soap) realising that although people wash their hands with water, very few wash their hands with soap at critical moments such as after using the toilet, before handling food, or after cleaning a child. Such poor hygiene practices coupled with limited access to safe water and sanitation facilities make people prone to preventable faecal-oral diarrhoeal diseases. As noted by the Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2007) ‘water and sanitation-related sicknesses put severe burdens on health services, keep children out of school, and undermine investment in agriculture and other economic sectors.’

In a statement jointly issued by UNICEF, the Liberia WASH Consortium (a group of five INGOs including Oxfam GB, Action Contre la Faim, Solidarités, Tearfund and Concern) and ZOA Refugee Care, the Government of Liberia stated that ‘gaps still exist since hand-washing requires basic hand-washing facilities that are absent in many schools in Liberia, and also proper and adequate water and behaviour change which, along with appropriate toilet facilities, are all part of a holistic WASH approach. Therefore, an integral WASH approach, which supports other infrastructure development, is essential and resource mobilisation remains vital. It is imperative that current donors in WASH remain steadfast while other donors are being encouraged to join in providing decent sanitation, and water services’.
See Picture of children washing their hands

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