Gilgit - Baltistan

Global hand washing day celebrated in Hunza

A Special person washing his hand during the awareness programme

By:Zulfiqar Ali Khan

Hunza, October 15: The Children of Hunza celebrated the United Nations‘ first Global Hand-washing Day in order to create awareness to save millions of people by the simple act of washing hands with Soap. A programme was organised in the premises of F.G Boys and Girls Middle School under Hyderabad Rural Support Organisation (HRSO) with the collaboration of UNICEF, RSPN, LG&RD and AKRSP. The school Children from Hyderabad and Karimabad highlighted the importance of washing hands with soaps through skits, speeches, songs and other innovative programmes. A large number of parents, teachers and notables were also present at the occasion.

The speakers said that the simple routine of ‘’washing hands with soap’ is one of the most effective ways of preventing killer diseases. They said washing hands with water alone is not enough “because you fail to wash off the germs”.  According to researches using soap to wash hands, particularly after contact with excreta, can reduce diarrhoeal diseases by over 40% and respiratory infections by 30%.

Similar programme was also organised at the rehabilitation center for disabled people in Hyderabad, Hunza. The activists through practical demonstrations created awareness regarding the washing of hands with soaps among the disabled people.

HRSO is implementing a Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme in Hyderabad, Hunza to improve the defecation and sanitation system in the village. According to a survey conducted by HRSO, 40-45% population of the village were using soap to wash their hands which increased to 70-75% after project interventions. About 20% households still have open drainage and 25% having open defecation.

The UN is also celebrating 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation.

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