An Open Letter to our Supporters
Project: Blueprint recently celebrated our one-year anniversary, and we have been busy responding to the COVID-19 and general sanitation emergency in Kampala’s urban slums. I am writing to you on behalf of Project:Blueprint Human Engineering as we conduct an emergency fundraising campaign to respond to the urgent request of a community of 2,000 people who currently have no access to any handwashing facilities whatsoever.
Project:Blueprint is working to engineer human solutions to tackle international development issues. We are continuing our community compost toilet projects – preventing open defecation and improving local health and sanitation – and building humanitarian cargo drones.
COVID-19 & SANITATION/HYGIENE EMERGENCY RESPONSE
Cities have become the frontline in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and those living in urban slums are uniquely vulnerable. Physical space is scarce and social distancing measures almost impossible. An existing lack of basic sanitation makes slum-dwellers more susceptible to contracting and spreading coronavirus.
We have conducted an emergency COVID-19 response in Kampala, Uganda, where an outbreak would be devastating. So far, we have reached 58,345 people with our handwashing stations across four slum communities in Kampala. £1,000 means 12 handwashing units, with soaps, behaviour cue posters and transportation costs, in a slum community that has reached out to us for help.
The power of washing your hands cannot be underestimated – not just for preventing COVID-19 but other easily preventable infections which lead to early childhood mortality, absenteeism and school drop outs – perpetuating a cycle of poverty. Around 1.8 million children under 5 die every year from diarrheal diseases and respiratory diseases like pneumonia. In an emergency setting, it is diarrhoea, not conflict, that is responsible for 40% of child deaths and 88% of these are down to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation and hygiene.
Better handwashing practices could cut the rate of these infections by up to 50%. It’s one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of infections – yet too often, this simple intervention is overlooked.
We realise that times are hard. So many of you have dug deep into your pockets to support people affected by the COVID-19 crisis unfolding around you. Now we are asking you to think of a community 6,043 miles away. Anything you can spare will go a long way, and allow us to start saving lives today.
Thank you for taking the time to consider us in your generosity. www.paypal.me/projectblueprint or https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/COVID19inUganda?utm_term=qZyrnDMBM&fbclid=IwAR0suRJmXc5DMnvBOD2ttEIP3ewF1UtdMHcZ5k4KTm8TDCypkbR-_uqwwmU
Lydia Darby, Co-founder and Programmes Director
On behalf of Project:Blueprint