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Covid Africa: A Sanitation Alarm

Lack of access to sanitary toilets, basic hygiene and sanitation education and clean water facilities already contribute to the more than 315,000 yearly child deaths from diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Africa. The propagation of the Novel Coronavirus-2019 globally raises further alarm about the poor state of Africa’s sanitary systems.


As part of the USDAs McGovern Dole (MGD) Food for Education and Child Nutrition program implementation, Nascent Solution’s (Nascent) infrastructure teams in Cameroon constructed and rehabilitated 92 classrooms, toilets, and handwoshing stations as well as dug and constructed boreholes to provide better sanitation options and clean drinking water to students who rank among the poorest in the world.

Africa experiences water stress levels above 60%, primarily in rural areas, a strong indicator of probable future water scarcity. Access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education was already a major challenge for policymakers, school administrators and communities in many countries.A UNICEF survey in developing countries found that less than half of primary schools have access to safe water and adequate sanitation. In these circumstances, the at-large communities do not provide better access to clean water.


Coronavirus therefore arrives at a tragically crucial time for many African communities and Nascent will be working to adapt and ramp up WASH related activities to meet the urgent need of sanitation as a tool to combat the new threat.In October 20I7, a United States Cameroon Embassy delegation chaperoned by Nascent staff, toured handwashing stations constructed as part of the MGD/ALIGN project to stem the diarrheal diseases that afflict children in the region, due to poor or absent sanitation practices and a lack of access to clean water. This delegation witnessed the eagerness with the sensitized children regarded handwashing at the hands-free foot-pedal driven handwashing stations, thoroughly washing their hands before meals, after bathroom breaks and after various other youthful. The small sample demonstrates that it is possible in light of the present crisis to stem the flow of the novel coronavirus with education and innovation.