UN-Habitat has joined schools in the Lake Victoria region for soap donations and demonstrations to celebrate Global Handwashing day.

Children at the schools had the opportunity through their health clubs to learn the importance of hand washing with soap as one of the most cost-effective ways of preventing diarrhoeal and acute respiratory diseases which account for the majority of all child deaths.

In Kisumu, Ragumo Primary School was joined by three neighbouring schools - Ogango Primary, Kunya Primary and Mbeme Primary - while Nyalunya Primary and Ofunyu Primary joined Tido Primary School to mark the day.

The highlights of the day were demonstrations from the health clubs on the five occasions to wash their hands and the correct procedure to do so which then encouraged more than 2,400 students to wash their hands with soap at various hand washing points within the school. The message given was: "Wash your hands with soap: Before eating or handling food; after using the toilet; after handling rubbish; after changing a nappy, and; before and after touching an injured person." 

The Kisumu East Public Health Officer Mr. Nicholas Onako, thanked the head teachers of the schools who attended for allowing their students to participate in the event. In his message he encouraged the students to make a habit of washing hands with soap in order to keep away diseases that might lead to school absenteeism.

As part of the I'm a City Changer campaign, staff from UN-Habitat and the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation initiative also contributed soap to enable six UN-Habitat project Schools in Rarieda, Kisumu and Kisii celebrate this year's Global Handwashing Day.