Although the hand washing with soap (HWWS) campaign has run for a long time, many people have yet to practice it as a habit. Lack of access to the HWWS facilities is one of the major factors inhibiting the community to adopt the practice, as such putting their health at risk.
Understanding the perils of the community’s current behavior, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the participatory M&E teams from Kiru-Kiru, Mangempang, Tanete, and Mangkoso urban villages in Barru district worked with LAB (Layanan Aktif BAZNAS/BAZNAS active service) to provide HWWS stations for low-income families in their respective urban villages.
“The low-income household is the most vulnerable group to the COVID-19. Many of them have yet to have HWWS habits due to several factors, among others is lack of access to HWWS facilities, while this practice is the first line of defense against the virus,” Sri Wahyuni, a volunteer of LAB, explained the reason her organization supported the participatory M&E teams.
To ensure the HWWS stations delivered to the right people, BAZNAS selected the potential beneficiaries based on its mustahiq (people eligible for receiving zakat) data which was sourced from the participatory M&E teams’ information. In this collaborative work, the participatory M&E teams and BAZNAS, with support from USAID IUWASH PLUS, educated the potential beneficiaries and other community members on the importance of HWWS. USAID IUWASH PLUS also supported their work by equipping them with behavior change promotional materials, such as stickers and brochures as well as providing the HWWS stations. Meanwhile, the beneficiaries provided the soaps.
In April 2020, the LAB and the participatory M&E teams distributed 35 HWWS stations to the recipients in Kiru-Kiru, Mangempang, Tanete, and Mangkoso.
“Thanks to BAZNAS and USAID IUWASH PLUS, my family now has a HWWS station. I hope this will remind us to keep washing our hands to protect us from the COVID-19,” said Hasanah, a beneficiary in Mangkoso urban village.
Besides distributing the HWWS facilities, the LAB and the participatory M&E teams encouraged the community who did not receive aid from the zakat board to make the HWWS on their own to be placed in public areas or at home.
The participatory M&E teams also taught them on how to make the facilities from buckets and water bottles. As of June 2020, there were 71 HWWS stations built by community members independently and 55 facilities provided by USAID IUWASH PLUS in all project assisted areas in Barru district. These figures included the facilities distributed by the LAB and the participatory M&E teams.
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