Kennedy Ocholla, a father of two living in Githogoro informal settlements of Nairobi with his wife and children, says having a UNICEF-donated handwashing station next to his welding business has helped increase the number of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This handwashing station has helped not only me but my community at large, as you can see, my business at the shopping center and neighbors’ households too,” he said, adding that it serves up to 50 people in a day.
Ochola was a beneficiary of the handwashing stations for public places in Githogoro, one of the five informal settlements that received the essential equipment distributed during a four months COVID-19 response program. Other Sub-counties that benefitted included Kibera, Mukuru, Korogocho, and Mathare.
The program, funded by UNICEF through UKAID and implemented by WASH Alliance Kenya, installed public handwashing stations and distributed bar soaps within three months in these informal settlements.
The intervention reached over 30,000 people and helped reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 since many households do not have access to soap and water.
Kennedy voluntarily keeps the handwashing station safe and fills it with water. He says his wife cleans and fills the station every day with about 100 liters of water, which costs them 8 shillings per day.
“I do not mind about the cost of buying water because I know this station will help keep my wife, kids my business, and four employees safe from COVID-19 infection.”
“In the recent month after acquiring this handwashing station, the business has been booming for me. I have acquired new customers and overwhelming orders to make furniture and welding. My customers trust the safety that comes with the carpentry services I provide since I constantly wash my hands and urge them to do so too”. Kennedy adds.
He encourages his family, customers, and neighbors to wash their hands and take other measures such as wearing masks and physical distancing to staying safe and healthy.