WASRAG Newsletter - May 2020
May 5- Hand Hygiene Day
Every year, May 5 is Hand Hygiene Day, which started in 2009 by WHO. This year, they aligned with the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife with the theme " SAVE LIVES: Clean your hands"
Poor menstrual hygiene caused by a lack of education, persisting stigma, and limited access to menstrual products keeps millions of women from reaching their full potential. May 28 is Menstrual Hygiene Day which provides a focused time to increase the awareness around menstrual hygiene issues. This year there will be a large social media campaign with the theme and hashtag #ItsTimeForAction. Go here for resources.
Rotary India Sanitation Mission
Around 4,000 clubs and 1.5 million Rotarians in India, under the guidance of Shekhar Mehta, Rotary International President (2021-22), have launched an ambitious project called Rotary India Sanitation Mission (RISM). A PDF with information on the project is here .

RISM has set the following challenging goals to be accomplished by 2025. 
> 5,000 Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus villages
> 1,000 villages with household water tap connections
> 1,500 WASH in Schools projects
> 500 WASH in Healthcare Facilities projects
> 500 community toilet blocks and 500 public toilet blocks
COVID-19 Resources
Over the past few months, the world has become aware of the need to emphasize hand washing and how it is essential that health care facilities have clean water and adequate sanitation to combat disease. Organizations have met the need to provide resources in both these areas.
A number of organizations that are experts in the area of WASH have joined together to develop the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub with:
> practical ideas for handwashing – available in English , French , Spanish , Arabic , Bangla , and Portuguese
> Webinars with handwashing ideas – available in  English French Spanish , and  Arabic
> Answers to common questions – written format and video blogs
> Activity videos that can be shared on social media – Available in English, French, Spanish and soon to be released in Portuguese, Bangla, Arabic, Hindi and Amharic.

WASH in Health Care Facilities
Over the past few months, the world has become acutely aware of the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in Health Care Facilities (HCF). The World Health Organization (WHO) & UNICEF have developed a series of videos based on recent webinars on WASH in HCF, with special emphasis on dealing with COVID-19. They have also recently published guidance on dealing with this virus in health care facilities

Lindsay Denny , Health Advisor with Global Water 2020 , has been doing some amazing work to collect and distribute information on WASH in HCF, but also facilitating coordination and communication between organizations. She recently highlighted her Article of the Week, from the Sanitation and Water for All blog - For COVID-19, Focus on the Basics: WASH in Healthcare Facilities  
Water and Soap for Nakuru, Kenya
20 tanks, each able to hold 1,500 litres, and 400 litres of soap were provided by the Rotary Club of Nakuru, Kenya, to their local community to encourage hand-washing in low income areas.

Working with the Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services company, about 200,000 litres of water will be delivered to the 20,000 residents in densely populated, low income areas.

To read the full story visit the Daily Nation newspaper article.
Wise Words from Ron and the Dalai Lama
Last month, Rotary International distributed in their "Service in Action" blog the letter from Ron Denham, WASRAG Chair Emeritus, that was published in the Special April issue of the WASRAG Newsletter.

The Dalai Lama, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day provided a special message that can be read in entirety here.

His comments that would be of interest especially to WASRAG members were:
"I came to appreciate the importance of environmental concern only after escaping from Tibet in 1959, where we always considered the environment to be pure. Whenever we saw a stream of water, for instance, there was no worry about whether it was safe to drink. Sadly, the mere availability of clean drinking water is a major problem throughout the world today.
We must ensure that the sick and the valiant health-care providers throughout the world have access to the fundamental necessities of clean water and proper sanitation to prevent the uncontrolled spread of disease.”

This message from the Dalai Lama was requested by Global Water 2020 .
Hand Hygiene for Health
The Rotarys Club of Bribie Island, Australia, established Hand Hygiene for Health (HFHH) to develop hand-washing as a habit for the next generation of children.

They developed SPATAP that fits on any water container and transforms it into a simple controllable water system for hand washing. A 1.5 litre bottle can provide 60 hand washes with soap.

While they have been very successful with projects in Fiji, they are looking to partner with clubs to expand their hand washing solution in the South Pacific, South-East Asia and Africa.
WASRAG Projects
Rotary members have expressed the value of WASRAG to maintain a current and pending project list to enable Rotary Clubs to partner, collaborate and learn from sharing project knowledge. Rotary Clubs are often seeking expert help and frequently are seeking financial support for major project grants. Future newsletters will include a featured project and a few additional projects from the WASRAG Project page .
Ongutoi Health Centre Water Collection for Sustainability
International Partner - Rotary Club of Newmarket

Since 2009, the Rotary Club of Newmarket has been supporting the Ongutoi Health Centre, located in North Eastern Uganda through a variety of projects. They have completed one phase of a water collection system, and now are embarking on a planned further expansion of this important water resource for this medical facility. Information on their project can be found here .

The excellent video they produced in conjunction with their partner High Adventure highlights the work they have completed and the work that is planned. They are looking for partners to help them with the next phase of the project. For more details and to get involved contact Richard Mewhinney .
Recently Created or Updated Projects
Saving Lives Through WASH - Budget $98,500 Updated Apr 30, 2020
  • Water and sanitation project in Mali, Africa with direct impact on 10,000 people
  • Looking for International Partner and supporters
  • Contact Rotary Club of Bamako Yelen for more details

Mocambique Drinking Water - Budget $100,250 Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Develop five bore holes and install distribution system for up to 13,500 people
  • Build five training spaces for community
  • Contact Rotary Club of Pria Maria Pia for more details
To get your project listed on the WASRAG Projects page and/or to get highlighted in a future newsletter contact Omar K Helferich at  okeithhelferich@msn.com who manages the Projects page
Upcoming and previous E-Club Speakers
On the first and third Thursdays of each month at 8 pm Eastern and the second and fourth Tuesdays at 12 pm Eastern. All Rotarians are welcome to join the Rotary E-Club of WASH online meetings that are focused on global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene issues. All their presentations are on-line for viewing at a later time.

Thu. May 7 - 8 pm - One Drop
Tania Vachon, Social Art for Behaviour Change
Tue. May 12 - 12 pm - One Drop
Tania Vachon, Social Art for Behaviour Change(Replay)
Thu May 21 - 8 pm - Strategic Planning Action Steps
Tue May 26 - 12 pm - What is CAWST?
Emilie Sanmartin, CAWST

To attend a meeting go to https://zoom.us/j/314362718
Newsletter Needs your Input and Help
We are coming up to our 50th issue of creating the WASRAG Newsletter. We would appreciate your suggestions on what would make it better.

We are also interested in finding Rotarians interested in editing the monthly newsletter, writing articles, or assisting in sourcing interesting items to include.

You can contact us at wasragnews@gmail.com
Calendar of Events
May 5, 2020 - Hand Hygiene Day

May 20, 2020 - Deadline for voting for WASRAG Director Elections



Nov 19, 2020 - WORLD TOILET DAY

Mar 22, 2021 - WORLD WATER DAY
To submit stories, videos, and pictures for the WASRAG Newsletter send an email to info@wasrag.org .
The Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG) is pleased to consider partnerships with any corporate supporter. Due to the unique attributes of water sources and water provision, acceptance of corporate support does not imply an endorsement of any particular water technology. Rotarians, Rotary clubs, and Rotary partners must evaluate any technology to determine if it is the best solution for the conditions where the program will be implemented. WASRAG can provide guidance about where different technologies work best, but Rotarians and Rotary clubs must make the final decision about how to implement their programs.