WASH First

Project: Ethiopia, Indonesia, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique and Rwanda, 2020 — 2021

Prevent the spread of Covid-19 by promoting hygiene awareness and improving access to safe and clean water, toilets and washing facilities.

The business of Nyakato Jessica in Uganda was affected due to the effects of the corona pandemic

About WASH First

WASH First is developed as the first line of defence against COVID-19 and to scale up our WASH SDG efforts. WASH First aims to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in marginalised countries through awareness raising and improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. By doing this we make the first line of defence accessible for the furthest behind, especially women and girls.


Women spend 3 times as many hours as men each day in unpaid care and domestic work. Covid-19 is adding to women’s unpaid care workloads

The estimate is that the pandemic will push 96 million people into extreme poverty by 2021, 47 million of whom are women and girls

1 in 3 people – 2.3 billion people – around the world lack basic handwashing facilties at home.

Impact of the programme

The overall goal of the WASH First programme is the promotion of health-related hygiene practices to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in at-risk countries through awareness raising and improved access to WASH services and intends to reach almost 5.5 million people.

Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG):

  • Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation - Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
WASH First Uganda
Nyakato Jessica Business woman in Uganda
'Corona is a killer disease. I used to walk across the Congo border to carry out my business.'

WASH First programme - Approach 

The WASH First programme has specific objectives focusing on high at-risk and most marginalised populations:

  • Result 1: Enhanced understanding of individuals, communities, health workers, schools and WASH service providers about mitigation measures against COVID-19 transmission.
  • Result 2: Population at risk of COVID-19 have sufficient and constant access to commodities and consumables i.e. handwashing facilities, disinfection equipment, soap, hygiene kits including menstrual health products and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Result 3: Population at risk of COVID-19 have safe access to water and sanitation services through the construction of new, and repair of, non-functional water and sanitation facilities or through temporary and/ or mobile supply services.

Overall budget: €6,000,000, Simavi budget: €1,760,000, Duration: 15 months, Location: Ethiopia, Indonesia and Uganda (WASH SDG programme implementation countries) Kenya, Mozambique and Rwanda

Want to know more about our programmes? Our programme team is happy to support!

Paula Lopera
Paula Lopera
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Esther Oeganda

Everbody has the human right to safe water and sanitation.

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