The importance of handwashing

15th October 2018

Most of us take the simple act of handwashing for granted, but 2.3 million people worldwide still do not have access to clean water, and they share taps and toilets with other households.

Each day, 1,000 children die from preventable diarrhoeal diseases that are caused by poor sanitation. The small act of washing hands regularly with soap cuts the incidence of diarrhoea by nearly half.

Global Handwashing Day

Today, 15th October, is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Events are happening across the globe to encourage and celebrate handwashing.

Raleigh’s work

In Nepal, we have helped 700 homes to gain access to safe drinking water, toilets and hand washing stations. Young volunteers have done this by building new or restoring existing water infrastructure, including tanks, pipes and taps. We are also running awareness raising sessions in the community and with local skills to promote the importance and benefits of handwashing and good hygiene – helping change behaviours. Through sessions in schools, local young people have learnt the stages of handwashing and been inspired to set up youth clubs and groups to manage the water facilities so that our work is sustainable in the future. Combined, this approach reduces illnesses and the amount of time spent collecting water.

Raleigh Expedition are currently working on four WASH (water and sanitation hygiene) projects in Gorkha, Nepal. You can read more about these here and check back over the next few months for updates on the progress of these vital projects.

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