The Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (UPF WASH) conference will be taking place on 6th October, 2020.
The conference which will be happening virtually due to the effects of covid-19, will focus more on the role of WASH in the post pandemic era.
The e-conference will provide a key platform for stakeholders to discuss and share experiences on the role of WASH in the fight against Covid-19 and beyond.
The Speaker of Parliament is expected to grace the event as the guest of honour.
Jacqueline Amongin, the chairperson of the forum also Ngora district Woman legislator says due to the on-going movement restrictions, it was decided that an e conference would be the most ideal, with only 50-70 participants invited for the physical meeting (observing strict social distancing guidelines of 2 meters apart) while the rest of the participants will be online, via social media platforms such as Zoom, twitter, among others.
“The e-Conference has been scheduled for October the 6th 2020, to coincide with the Global Handwashing Day and Toilet Day that falls on October 15th and November respectively 2020,” said Ms. Amongin.
Ms. Amongin added that the e-conference will among other things, bring together policy makers, civil society organizations, Corporate Organization and members of the private sector who recognize and appreciate the desire and need for immediate action in responding to WASH as a critical aspect in the on-going Covid-19 pandemic response.
“The e-conference will provide a platform to key stakeholders to share knowledge, experiences, and lessons from across the continent on the challenges and opportunities around efforts to scale-up WASH especially in the post Covid-19 era.
“This e-Conference is a follow-up to the inaugural UPF-WASH Symposium held in 2019 that sought to strengthen linkages between the parliament, different sectors, local Government, the local community, and civil society on WASH related issues and challenges in the country,” she noted.
Why focus on Covid-19 vs WASH?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) interim guidelines on Covid-19, the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygienic conditions is essential for protecting human health during all infectious disease outbreaks, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
However, with the reported high number of people, at 60% who do not regularly wash hands with soap,6 the fight against the spread of Covid-19 could be undermined. While the number of those washing hands could have increased with the recent presidential directive to all public places – markets, malls, public transport vehicles – to ensure handwashing of clients, the lack of monitoring and enforcement is still a big challenge.
And through the e-conference, stakeholders will review the state of WASH in Uganda as a response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, share lessons and experiences from international participants on the role of WASH in fighting against Covid-19 and seek commitments from governments and other stakeholders in scaling up WASH initiatives during the post Covid-19.
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