Water, Sanitation and Health: Introducing The Afri-CAN Charity Healthy Hands Program

Background into township conditions:
Townships in Cape Town are regarded as settlements in which families live on a tiny piece of land in extremely poor conditions.
The lack of ready access to clean water and sanitation is a major cause for illness and disease in these townships particularly affecting small children.
Every year, on average, the townships grow by 200,000 making an already acute problem even worse. (1)

Sanitation conditions and health risks:
In the Western Cape, water and sanitation are provided by the City of Cape Town. In informal settlement areas, where the city cannot put or build cement toilets, provides the mobile plastic toilets. They get cleaned once a week.

Once a week is not enough, health risks are extremely high. Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE, Afri-CAN Charity Chairman said “Half a solution is no solution, there’s little point in our organisation building clean safe ECD nurseries if we don’t’ couple that program with a formal, professional focus on water, sanitation and health training for the teachers and kids”.


Healthy Hands Programme at The Afri-CAN Charity ECDs:
We’ve appointed the brilliant Joan Wright from the Mhani Gingi Organisation to deliver the Afri-CAN Health Hands Program as part of a comprehensive teacher-training package implemented in all of our new ECD’s.  Mhani Gingi was established in 2006 and is a social entrepreneurial network focused on women. www.mhanigingi.co.za

In simple terms we make healthy sanitation and hand washing after using loos fun for the kids of the Afri-CAN Charity ECD nurseries.  By instilling this activity in kids aged 1 to 6 we are diminishing their chances of contracting serious illnesses when they are at the most vulnerable ages.

The programme was launched at our Masiphumele ECD nursery in Philippi Township, Cape Town and is being rolled out across all The Afri-CAN Charity ECDs during 2016.

(1) Source: Metembo- water and sanitation paper.
All photographs taken at our Stars of Tomorrow ECD in the township of Philippi in Cape Town by photographer Melissa K Harper ©
Post written by Maryam Mazraei