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Wash in the time of pandemic

9 Dec 2020

A three-day virtual conclave on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) kicked off in Hyderabad on Wednesday, with the participation of officials from the State governments, experts and development partners of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Public male toilet with urinal, sink and mirror

Organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the three State governments and the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), it aims to facilitate knowledge exchange and action on WASH-related issues particularly in the current pandemic context, a press release said.

Governor of Andhra Pradesh Biswabhusan Harichandan, who spoke at the inaugural, said that proper hygiene was never so important globally as it is now and hygiene was not possible without adequate water and sanitation measures.

Stressing on the importance of hygiene, chief, UNICEF Hyderabad, Meital Rusdia felt that the need to prioritise WASH for communities has increased exponentially worldwide due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

Director-General of NIRD&PR Alka Upadhyaya argued that there was a need for massive capacity building effort at PRI level, for which NIRDPR would be happy to join hands with UNICEF and other institutions to build the capacity of PRIs at all levels.

The theme of this year’s conclave was “Hygiene Matters” and it brought diverse players, including government, civil society, private sector and academia, under one platform to deliberate on WASH strategies with special emphasis on hygiene in the COVID-19 context.