Save Our Schools (SOS) NPO in South Africa are doing amazing work to install ‘Emergency Hand Washing Stations’ that will be made available to over 110 000 residents in the Wallacedene, Bloekombos and Scottsdene communities in the Western Cape. These stations will be built onto solid concrete bases and have liquid soap available from separate dispensers.
SOS NPO will be installing 14 x 5000-litre water tanks in the region, which will create jobs for 14 local people. Their jobs will consist of monitoring, managing and sterilizing the tanks, to ensure they remain clean, filled with fresh water, and that liquid soap supplies are replenished. While the basic guidelines in fighting the spread of COVID-19 are to wash your hands frequently with soap and water and to disinfect surfaces as often as possible, communities in townships and informal settlements struggle to stick to them. With little access to clean water for basic hygiene and sanitation, it is near impossible to abide by the advice given, to prevent COVID-19 infection.
Three pilot stations started being erected Wednesday, 28 April 2020.
To achieve this alone is a mammoth task that requires many hands and all the help they can get. To this end, Volvo Cars SA has jumped on board the initiative and released its fleet of press cars to SOS NPO to help with the vital work being done by the team.These cars are helping the SOS NPO operation team and volunteers travel to these areas safely, to supply essential goods, food items, sanitizers as well as transport materials used in erecting water stations at schools and churches.
However, the financial implications of running a project like this are complex and, as an NPO, SOS relies on donations to carry out the work that they do.Fortunately, they are being assisted by the The Grundfos Foundation.
A Danish commercial foundation created by the founder of the Grundfos Group, Poul Due Jensen, The Grundfos Foundation funds sustainable water projects and has pledged over R46m to various emergency initiatives around the globe. SOS NPO is one such beneficiary, which has received a financial donation to assist with the expansion of Grundfos South Africa’s existing engagements in informal settlements.
Grundfos and SOS have a long standing partnership dating back to 2018 when Cape Town was hit by the water crises. The two entities thus partnered to mitigate the catastrophe by installing water towers to provide non-potable water for car washing and irrigation, and the delivery of water to the six schools in the settlement as well as the HIV clinic.
Kim Nøhr Skibsted, Executive Director of the Grundfos Foundation (PDJF) says: “Ever since the humble beginning in 1944, Grundfos has been going an extra mile to reach out to the vulnerable groups in society. The Foundation wishes to inspire Grundfos employees all over the world to make a positive difference in their own and in other people's lives. The collaboration between Grundfos South Africa and SOS - Save Our Schools is a fine example that the Grundfos Foundation is very proud to support.”