This years Global Handwashing Day celebrations came and went successfully as the WSUP team was out in full force to make sure the importance of handwashing was felt, and what better way than to kick off Global Handwashing Day early than with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and the CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman.
While there was a happy note to the events, it was important to recognize the need for a day such as this.
It is a fact that every year, 2 million children will never reach the age of 5 due to diarrhea and pneumonia, so to address this serious issue in a way that could be enlightening and celebratory, Global Handwashing Day has become a necessity.
WSUP in partnership with Unilever, Lifebuoy, and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation kicked off The Global Handwashing Day with an early start as it took place at Kilimani Primary School on October 4th but was a precursor for the annual Global Handwashing Day event that took place in Machakos County at the Makutano D.E.B. Primary School this past October 15th.
“We are gathered here today because our consciousness has been pricked into action, we are forced to act because families in Kenya and across the worlds continue to lose their precious children to disease that can be prevented by a simple hand wash,” stated First Lady Kenyatta at the Lifebuoy sponsored event.
The main event was held in Machakos County this past week and WSUP, in partnership with UNICEF, USAID, UKAID, Rain: Water for Africa, and the Coca Cola Africa Foundation was able to host such guests as the Chief Officer of the Ministry of Health & Emergency Services Chief of Public Health, Dr. Kepha M. Ombacho, the Cabinet Secretary of Health, Mr. James W. Macharia, as well representatives from UNICEF, USAID, the Ministry of Water, Environment & Natural Resources, and the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology.
The main event however was the 10-15,000 children who came to wash their hands, it was a great moment for everyone who not only came to be a part of the celebration, but to also make a pledge in bettering their homes and communities through handwashing. By demonstrating this year’s theme of the” power is in our hands”, we hope to empower communities through the simple act of handwashing.
Our own Gertrude Salano was there to not only represent WSUP but was a key speaker as well, and we’re proud of the work she’s done to help put this event together!
As First Lady Kenyatta has stated, “Healthy families, healthy communities, and healthy nations are central to an productive, economically stable, and prosperous world.”