While good hygiene is always recommended, the stark reality is that in South Africa today, many of our schools do not have access to safe, clean running water. This fact has been exacerbated more than ever during 2020, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, when washing hands is a priority first defence against the virus and, not only recommended, but mandated by the government.
Having already teamed up in 2018 with Atlas Copco’s ‘Water for All’ initiative, as the key sponsor, this year Rand-Air saw the opportunity to once again make a meaningful contribution to the community, by providing disadvantaged schools – particularly in outlying rural areas – with handwashing facilities to enable them to meet this vital hygiene criteria. This was done in an effort not only to counter the spread of the virus, but to instil a mindset of cleanliness and good hygiene among the children.
“It has been amazingly rewarding working with our co-sponsor Atlas Copco and proudly South African Filpro, the inspirational company behind the manufacture and distribution of the handwashing units which we are sponsoring – while knowing that we are empowering children to wash their hands and take responsibility for ensuring their own health and safety,” says IPR Accounts and Communications Manager Mpho Ngamlane, the driving force behind this project from Rand-Air’s side.
“One hundred schools have each been the recipient of an innovative, robust, mobile handwashing unit, that were Filpro’s brainchild. Coloured bold orange so that you cannot miss them, with a stainless-steel basin, each unit has the capacity to wash 9 000 hands per tank of clean water, and each unit is operated via a foot-pump with a refillable, hygienic, integrated soap dispenser. What makes the unit user-friendly and practical, is that each one is mounted on its own trailer, making it mobile and easy to position in the most opportune location within the school premises,” Ngamlane explains.
“In addition, this year, Filpro gave hugely of their time and effort to assist Atlas Copco and Rand-Air to identify schools in need within in Mpumalanga and Gauteng and to get the units distributed accordingly,” Ngamlane points out.
In 2021, Rand-Air will begin by distributing units to schools in Limpopo province, and will thereafter identify schools in other outlying rural areas of the country to which to distribute units.
“We feel strongly about this initiative, and believe that it does not have to end here! In fact, we believe it should start here! We challenge every person and company, whether in the private or government sector, to come on board and do their bit to provide clean, running water to disadvantaged communities and schools, by sponsoring the roll-out of these incredible units!” Ngamlane urges.
“We will never ‘wash our hands’ of ensuring the welfare of children, preferring to ‘get our hands wet’ to ensure their ongoing health and well-being,” Ngamlane concludes.