Visually impaired Cobra employee lauds DWS’s handwashing campaign

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15 November 2017

A Cobra employee who is visually impaired, Mr Michael Ndlovu, gave a nod to the
Department of Water and Sanitation’s (DWS’s) Global Hand Washing Campaign, describing his feeling after washing his hands as heart-warming.

Mr. Ndlovu was part of 300 Cobra employees who took part in the handwashing campaign which had been cooperatively organized by Cobra in partnership with the Department. The event was held on 14 November 2017 at the Cobra manufacturing factory in Factoria,Krugersdorp.

The campaign focused on the use of improved sanitation and handwashing to reduce the risk of contracting diseases such as diarrhea. It was also a means of creating awareness and advocacy around issues of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene.

Central to the campaign was to ensure that the pillars of the new Department’s Sanitation
Policy, which came into effect last year in December, are efficiently and effectively
implemented. The Global Handwashing Day is commemorated on the 15th of October and culminated to the World Toilet Day on the 19th of November.

Cobra gave the Department’s campaign a shot in the arm when it donated 10 000 DWS branded bar soaps and 20 state-of-the-art hand washing basins to assist in educating the public about the importance of properly washing hands with soap.

The soaps and basins are used to demonstrate the six steps of handwashing.
Despite his visual impairment, Ndlovu said he felt the experience of washing his hand in his heart, vowing to make proper handwashing with soap a daily habit in order to avoid illnesses that would prevent him from coming to work and doing what he loved.

Asked how he felt after washing his hands, Mr. Ndlovu said: “Because of my visual impairment I can’t see how my hands look like but one thing I can tell you is that I can feel the cleanliness of my hands in my heart.”

DWS’s Dr. Konanani Khorommbi expressed his gratitude to Cobra for having been part of the commemoration of the Global Handwashing Campaign, saying it was only through partnerships such as this one that the country could sustain itself.

He said the donation to the campaign of the basins and soaps by Cobra was one of the ways through which the company was participating in the Department’s programmes.
Another Cobra employee, Mr. Addie Mthisi, said the campaign was important to them as workers because they could not afford the prospect of losing days at work because they were sick. Mr. Mthisi said it was up to each one of them to use the six steps of handwashing to make sure that they do not fall prey to illness associated with not washing hands properly.

The day’s event ended with the tour of Cobra’s manufacturing factory, which exposed everyone – environmental health students from the Tshwane University of Technology, Water and Sanitation Forums members, entrepreneurs, and officials from KleenMe Paper Soap Strips – to the process of manufacturing world-class products.


Hosia Sithole

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