Our response to Covid-19: CEO message

Themes: Behaviour change Health impact WASH
Countries: Bangladesh Ghana Kenya Madagascar Mozambique Zambia

Access to clean water and good hygiene have never been more important.

A message from our CEO Neil Jeffery

I wanted to share with you an update on WSUP’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the last week, we have been working tirelessly to reorient our organisation – getting staff back to their home countries, changing work practices, bolstering our technology systems and working out revised work plans for our operations around the world.

In the communities where we work, though, the crisis continues to grow. We are extremely concerned for the health and safety of people living in the fragile urban communities where WSUP focuses its attention. We are considering how we can strengthen WSUP’s role in the hygiene response.

Poor hygiene, and high population density means that an outbreak of Coronavirus in slum communities could be truly catastrophic. Mindful of this, we have seen authorities in the countries where we are working act quickly to limit the risk of disease transmission; and thankfully, the outbreaks in these countries to date have been small, at least compared to those in other parts of the world.

But this outbreak tells us that we need to act, more than ever, to address poor hygiene in growing urban populations. Many people are not aware of the critical importance of good hygiene; and even if they are, they may lack the soap and clean water to regularly wash their hands.

We have a duty to the communities where we work to consider ways in which we can assist them to improve hygiene, either through digital messaging, or by other means.

We are developing our plans on this and will do what we can to support urban authorities and utilities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia as they seek to address this issue. We have experience of implementing major handwashing promotion campaigns and our teams are considering how we can best adapt our response in each of our programme countries.

To all of our partners, we are grateful for your continued understanding, patience and valued support.

Best regards,


Find out more about WSUP's Covid-19 response