Siphokazi Gontsi and Busisiwe Ntsika from Siqalo Informal Settlement. File Picture: Cindy Waxa/ African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Siphokazi Gontsi and Busisiwe Ntsika from Siqalo Informal Settlement. File Picture: Cindy Waxa/ African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Lack of water hinders good hygiene efforts in townships

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published May 20, 2020

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Cape Town - The World Health Organization recommends exercising good health hygiene as a means to protect oneself from contracting Covid-19.

However, for most families living in informal settlements, exercising basic hygiene routines is not an easy task. The sad reality for these families include little to no access to clean running water in their homes and lack of access to disinfectants.

This makes it hard for parents and guardians of adolescents to encourage and motivate them to consistently practise good hygiene such as washing their hands and sanitising regularly and in some cases bathing daily.

Molo Songololo director Patric Solomon said the Covid-19 pandemic put a spotlight on personal hygiene as a preventive measure.

“Children learn from parents and teachers in their formative years about washing their hands and bodies to keep themselves clean and tidy to prevent contracting diseases and getting ill.”

He said most adolescents knew how to keep their bodies clean, and were aware of reasons why exercising good hygiene was important, but still found it hard to follow through and practise basic hygiene routines.

“From the ages of 10 and 12, children know how to keep their bodies clean and healthy. Unfortunately, as teenagers they find it difficult to consistently practise good personal hygiene which nowadays is most paramount because of Covid-19.

“Encouraging and supporting young people to follow through on their progressive health routines is just as important as constantly washing our hands and taking care of our health as their parents,” said Solomon.

Kraaifontein mother of two Maurine Ndlovu said: “We live in communities with very little, but it is on us as well as teachers to make sure they practise basic hygiene, especially now.”

@Mtuzeli

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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