Effects of the corona crisis on the operations of WeWater
The Corona crisis has created an exceptional situation for an indefinite period of time and paused processes all over the world. We would like to give you some insights on the current situation and how the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 affects our work at WeWater. We are no longer able to travel, cannot meet regularly for our meetings as usual, have problems with deliveries and are currently uncertain whether our logistics partners will continue to support us as before. But one thing at a time.
When we learned on March 7 that entry into Uganda is only possible with a two-week self-quarantine after entry, we looked for a short-term solution. We had booked flights only shortly before. But we lacked financial means and above all time to be able to justify a two-week stay without concrete project success.
Josi wanted to bring a total of four AQQAcube to the hospitals of Obia West and Olet, Bweyale and Lwamaggwa, install them there and train the staff on site. We had scheduled two weeks for this mission. Visas have been arranged, appointments were made at the tropical institute for vaccinations and the trip was planned in detail. We had been working for almost half a year on the financing. In the end we had enough private donations as well as donations from the municipal utilities of the city of Nienburg and the Wilo-Foundation.
Parallel to Josi’s outreach, Hannes had also planned to travel to Kenya at the beginning of April. Through our new team member Tomkin, who is our WeWater correspondent in Kenya, we had conducted some preliminary visits of possible project locations since December. With success. Tomkin found several communities, all of which are located near Lake Victoria and urgently need help.
Shortly afterwards, it was clear that it would not be possible to travel to Kenya in the near future. In the meantime the worldwide travel warning has been extended by the German government until June 14. Before this date it wouldn’t be possible for us to travel to the project areas, explain and install our water filters and train the people on site in the use of the filters as well as in the associated hygiene procedures.
The scale of the Corona crisis is hitting many of us with full force. Some are on short-time work, others have lost their jobs or their entire livelihood. These are difficult times. But we must not forget that it will hit less developed countries much harder. These countries do not have a health system comparable to the one in Germany. A lot of time, there is a lack of hospital beds, doctors, intensive care units or respiratory care units.
It is clear to us that we could not leave these people alone at this time, which is why we rescheduled. We are currently in the process of producing a multi-part video course that explains our water filters from commissioning to disinfection. Thanks to these videos, we will be able to train our contact persons in the affected countries. We can explain to them how to install and handle our water filters and will answer and clarify questions through video telephony in regular calls.
Thus we are able to help the affected people who need it so urgently despite the travel ban. Even if we have hardly seen it on the media screens so far: with a slight delay, the Corona pandemic will hit the less developed countries of the world hardest.
And we have another challenge. For shipping to the areas of operation, we currently have to wait for changes in the curfews in Uganda and Kenya. At the moment, our logistics partner does not allow shipping to the direct deployment location, our supplies would be stranded at the airports.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you. Almost everyone is going through a difficult time right now. Nevertheless, we have hardly noticed a decrease in donations. On the contrary. We could welcome some new monthly donors.