The Kara, UN Habitat and County Government of Nakuru initiative on establishing permanent hand washing stations as part of COVID-19 mitigation was officially launched in Nakuru on 20th July 2020.

During the launch, the first complete hand washing station at Bondeni Maternity was opened for public use by the Deputy Governor Dr. Erick Korir.

Speaking during the launch, Dr. Korir welcomed the partnership and support from Kara and UN Habitat and said that the Bondeni Maternity hand washing station will enable the 30,740 residents of Bondeni, Flamingo Ward to have access to water and soap for washing their hands regularly. He said that the County Government is committed to the fight against the pandemic and will provide the needed support for the establishment of the hand washing stations initiative. The station is an innovation that enables users to wash their hands without touching the tap or soap dispenser. Seven more stations will be constructed in Top Market; Old Town Hall; Afraha Market (2 stations); Ziwani Bus Park; Rhonda Market; Kapkures Slaughter House.

Kara CEO Mr. Henry Ochieng stated that the fight against the virus cannot be left the Government alone and other sectors should complement what is being done by the Government to mitigate against the pandemic. “As the world grapples with the pandemic, it is clear that the fight against the virus requires concerted efforts by individuals and organizations from all sectors. It cannot be left to the Government alone. The partnership between the County Government of Nakuru, UN Habitat and Kara is a demonstration of how Government, development partners and civil society can join hands to roll out initiatives that positively contribute to the fight against the pandemic.” he said.

Mr. Jeremiah Ougo, National Projects Officer, UN Habitat, stated that the partnership had created job opportunity for the youths who have been trained to manage the hand washing stations. He stated that the UN Habitat is committed to promoting sustainable urban development and will continue working with the Government and other sectors to realize this goal. He thanked the County Government for the cooperation in implementation of the project stating that the initiative will contribute towards better hygiene by enabling access to safe and clean drinking water.

The initiative is part of the UN Habitat COVID-19 Response Action Plan for Kenya focusing on mitigating COVID-19 in urban settings with emphasis on informal settlements in Kenya. Kara joined hands with UN Habitat as an implementing partner in the project and is working closely with the County Government of Nakuru through the Ad Hoc Committee on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene to ensure effective implementation of the project