How Kibra soap distribution initiative is helping locals prevent covid-19
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick.
Using art, Maasai Mbili, a group of artists in Kibra, Kenya is using art to pass hand washing and other covid-19 prevention messages. The team, based in Kibra’s Bombolulu area is also distributing liquid soap while passing the messages.
Their move was advised by the harsh economic conditions of many people living the informal settlement. “A lot of residents here struggle to provide for their families with the little income they get from their businesses. More so, the government directive to have a place for hand washing in every business was an extra expense to them. That is why we had to step in and help by distributing soap among other initiatives,” says Mbuthia Maina, a member of the group.
The liquid soap is hand-made in their art studio located in Kibra Bomblulu and distributed one day in a week to people in the community “We make the soap ourselves and distribute to business premises and the general public, ” he added.
So far, the organization has supplied soap to more than 100 people and target more people by the end of the year.
Emma* one of the beneficiaries of the project shares how the initiative has helped her: “I work as a green grocer and the soap distribution has helped me a lot and I use it not only on my stall but also in my own home to wash my hands, together with other family members. I am thankful and hopeful that the distribution would continue to impact more business people like me because we are facing hard times as businesses.”
The hopes of reaching more people with the project and beyond are however difficult to do because of the various challenges they face. Kevin, a member of the group discloses that funds are hard to come by. “Sometime we face delayed funds from donors and this in turn delays the soap distribution. Also, the huge population in the area is a hindrance as the project can only reach a limited number of people,” he explains.
To date, the group has been able to make their distribution in Bombolulu,42 and Soweto areas located in Kibra.