Founded by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing the Global Hand Washing Day is celebrated on October 15th every year to promote the importance of hand washing with soap to save children’s life and improve health by preventing germ infection and disease.
This year, students from Kariobangi North Girls High School participating in Global Peace Foundation’s Leap Hub program led primary school pupils from PCEA Kandegwa in Kiambu County through informative and interactive sessions on how to make economical liquid soap using local ingredients. This was followed by other activities that included a demonstration on effective handwashing techniques and tree planting exercise.
During the event, the high school students gave a simple tutorial on how to make liquid soap using industrial salt, citric sodium, ungerol, ufacid, and water. This activity gave the pupils vital skills to not only promote sustainable and economical hygiene practices in their school but also to enable their school to save money. Typically, Leap Hub students use ingredients worth KES 100 to make 5 litres of soap which they later sell at KES 250. PCEA Kandengwa Primary School uses an average of 15 litters of soap every month for cleaning which they buy at KES300 per 5 litres. If the school adapts to this, they end up saving KES 450 every month.
After several informative sessions, the pupils reiterated the prevention techniques that ensure the elimination of germ transmission, which are known to cause diarrhea among other sanitary diseases.
A special guest Ms. Lilian Mwende, who has undergone the Water Health and Sanitation training sponsored by World Vision, informed participants on important handwashing techniques through step-by-step instructions:
Step 1: Wet hands and apply soap. Rub against each other until soap concentrates with water and hand.
Step 2: Rub each palm over the back of the other hand.
Step 3: Rub between your fingers with both handsStudents practice handwashing techniques.
Step 4: Rub your right hand’s fingertips against the palm of your left hand. Repeat the same procedure with your left hand.
Step 5: Rub around each of your thumbs
Step 6: Rub in circles on your palms. Then rinse and dry your hands
Later in the day, the pupils participated in a tree planting exercise that was sponsored by the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (Muguga Regional Research Centre). Over 200 trees were planted to mark the day’s event and as a reminder to the pupils to always uphold best hygienic practices. At the end of the day all participants raised their hands as a pledge to champion hygiene education in their schools and communities.