According to Amnesty International, approximately 20 million South African citizens – roughly one in every three people – have no access to safe or reliable water and sanitation. Those living in the most under-resourced areas were already grappling with sharing toilets and travelling great distances to collect water long before the onset of COVID-19, but these shocking inequalities came into sharp focus when the country went into lockdown.
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fully supports the Constitutional right of every South African to
enjoy access to clean water for their everyday needs as well as for sanitation and handwashing. To help address the shortfall, Woolworths and MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet have donated funding to the value of R1.7 million which will go towards water tanks as well as handwashing stations at 18 schools in both the Eastern and Western Cape provinces. The water collected in the rain-water tanks is then used for handwashing, flushing of toilets, and watering of sustainable food gardens to support school-feeding programmes and to share with surrounding communities.
In addition, the community loyalty programme has provided just over R60 000 to GROW Educare’s early childhood development centres (ECDs). The investment will go towards portable water fountains that double up as handwashing and sanitation stations for young children.
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has also partnered with the UNICEF WASH project to sponsor a further 12 water stations in vulnerable communities that, at R20 000 each, will accompany hygiene kits for 270 families for handwashing and teeth-brushing. This donation will be accompanied by educational initiatives supporting good hygiene practices.
“Supplying water is only one part of our work,” says Pieter Twine, General Manager of
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet. “Through these projects, we aim to also educate learners and members of the communities in which they live about water conservation.”
COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, is a respiratory illness that is spread through contact with human secretions, most notably large respiratory droplets but also via contaminated surfaces. With no vaccine currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised people that the best way to stop the spread includes staying home, maintaining safe social distancing, not touching your nose, mouth or eyes, and washing hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
This last point is particularly relevant and given the scarcity of water in many parts of South Africa, the government immediately bought water tanks and shipped them across the country to areas where they were most needed. But there are still many areas that are in need of access to clean water.
“In a time when hygiene is a crucial step in preventing the spread of COVID-19, MySchool
MyVillage MyPlanet’s ongoing efforts to bring safe, accessible water to those most in need is a
top priority,” says Twine. “We encourage our supporters to continue swiping their MySchool
MyVillage MyPlanet or linked Woolies cards each time they shop at our partners to keep helping us to help those most in need. If we pull together, we can do so much more and every bit really makes a difference.”
Sign up today at myschool.co.za or download the App and select the school or cause you would like to support and start making a difference today. Our partners – including Woolworths, Engen, Bidvest Waltons and Loot.co.za – will donate a percentage of your spend to your chosen school or cause on your behalf every time you use your card, and at no additional cost to you.