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The World Plumbing Council (WPC), an international organization that aims to achieve the best possible plumbing for the world through growth and development of the world’s plumbing industries, has connected the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) and the Plumbers Association of Zambia (PAZA) for a pilot program that will provide more than 50 handwashing stands to the SOS Children’s Village in the Zambian capital.
The collaboration is the latest example of IWSH’s support for industry partners fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through community-led water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives.
SOS Children’s Village Lusaka started its operations in August 1999. Caring for 147 children and 76 youths, there are 15 family houses, four youth homes, and a kindergarten, primary school, high school and vocational training center.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the globe, millions of people have been heeding the advice of health experts to wash their hands regularly, with soap, to help prevent virus spread,” said PAZA CEO and President Moses Chongo. “But millions more people around the globe are vulnerable, because they do not have access to clean water and soap. The washing of hands is a small action but remains out of reach for so many.
“Hand washing in public places and residential care settings is going to become the ‘new normal’ when it comes to preventing infections,” Chongo added. “PAZA has decided to play our part in our local communities, highlighting these new public health guidelines, and helping equip people of all ages with correct and accurate information about the importance of washing hands regularly.”
PAZA was founded in Lusaka in June 2019, with the intention of uniting Zambian plumbing and mechanical services professionals to support and educate communities on skills related to water, sanitation, sludge management, public health, and safety. The association has more than 80 members registered from a variety of backgrounds, including plumbing, water operation and supply, HVAC, mechanical plumbing services, pipefitting, and water pump maintenance.
“From a World Plumbing Council perspective, we are excited to witness the ongoing development of PAZA, as a collaborative platform for the plumbing industry across Zambia,” said WPC Chair/UA Director of Plumbing Services Thomas Bigley. “PAZA has been a proactive member of the WPC since it was established last year, and this latest initiative is another example of PAZA’s drive to raise awareness of the role of plumbing in its local communities.”
The mobile handwashing stations will be installed at SOS Children’s Village Lusaka starting June 10. The guest of honor, Adern Nkandela, national director of the SOS Children's Village Zambia, will be on hand to witness these activities.