The leadership of our partners during this unprecedented pandemic has proven nothing short of extraordinary.
The effective and unified actions of our in-country partners are protecting our project regions and saving lives. They are demonstrating the multitude of ways in which trusted leaders can mobilize and protect a community through effective messaging—this influence doesn’t happen overnight—our partners have earned the trust of the people in our project regions over decades. We are proud to call them our colleagues and to share their tireless efforts to keep communities safe.
Read on for a brief update from Honduras, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh. We asked each partner Director how COVID-19 has impacted project construction; how community life has been affected; what resources are available; and how their organization is responding to the crisis.
With the nearest hospital hours away and with only one ventilator available in the region, COCEPRADIL is highly motivated to keep COVID-19 out of their communities. They have leveraged decades of positive influence in the region to enforce restrictions that are keeping their communities safe.
All COCEPRADIL staff is required to wear masks and maintain social distancing on site, allowing no more than 20 workers at a time, compared to 50-100 workers before the pandemic. They are currently making steady progress on the construction of six large water and sanitation projects.
They report their greatest strength has been the quick and widespread dissemination of messaging to communities; this is a direct result of their ongoing relationship with the hundreds of communities where they have built water projects over the past 25 years. They have assigned a health educator to every community to teach health and sanitation classes and to identify and train strong leaders to maintain these efforts.
All traffic to and from larger cities has been restricted. A strict 14-day quarantine has been established for anyone entering the region. Each municipality has established a quarantine location where visitors stay. COCEPRADIL worked diligently to organize mayors in the region to develop effective messaging—they are now collaborating to develop a unified isolation protocol for people who are sick. The federal government has control of testing and is not offering tests outside of major cities; therefore, COCEPRADIL has procured and donated testing supplies to local clinics.
The pandemic has devastated the local economy, causing unemployment and a dwindling food supply. With limited governmental support, families are in crisis. COCEPRADIL has identified the highest-need families and has provided support to as many as possible. Without an income, many families cannot purchase corn and bean seeds, their staples, for the July/August planting season. COCEPRADIL has responded by purchasing and distributing seeds so that families will have food through the winter months.
COCEPRADIL expressed gratitude for the support of Water1st and the commitment we have made to maintain their staff during this pandemic. The Honduras team has also had difficult conversations about their future; together they decided that, if necessary, all staff will take less pay to guarantee no one is left unemployed—this reflects the collective spirit of our Honduras team. They have also made plans to turn their headquarters into a hospital, if the virus spreads through the region, as the hospitals in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigulpa are currently at capacity with COVID-19 patients.
We are grateful for the leadership of our Honduran partner and the unified messaging and effective approaches they are using to fight the spread of COVID-19. They closed our conversation by saying that Water1st and our community of supporters holds a special place in their hearts.
Our partner in Ethiopia, Water Action, reports that a surging inflation rate is impacting the cost of food, basic resources, and manufactured goods; cleaning materials are scarce and costly. The situation is creating stress for community members as well as our colleagues and their families.
The construction of new projects is moving slowly, as they are abiding by the mandate for a maximum of four laborers on site at a time.
Communities with water at their homes are faring well and have implemented protocols that include increased handwashing, wiping of surfaces, and washing produce. Water Action is working with all communities in the region to disseminate information around preventative measures to limit the spread of disease. Their team of health promoters is identifying the most vulnerable community members, including the elderly and people with disabilities, to ensure they have basic resources. They are providing widespread household hygiene education across the region and are installing handwashing facilities at all community gathering spaces.
In the Oromia region where we work, schools are closed, travel on public transit is restricted, and cultural events such as weddings and funerals are limited.
COVID-19 testing is not available in our project region. The nearest testing site is in Addis Ababa and requires the referral of a medical professional.
Our partner in Bangladesh, DSK, is experiencing unique challenges due to the extreme density of the urban slum communities where we work. Since early March, DSK has been raising awareness about COVID-19 through extensive risk-mitigation campaigns. With the support of Water1st, they have identified the most vulnerable community members and have provided them with basic resources. Their safety and prevention campaign is second-to-none and includes:
-Hygiene kits (mask, soap, bleach, bucket)
-Handwashing demonstration stations
-Distribution of hygiene safety leaflets
-Mobile phone messaging
-Dissemination of messages through religious institutions
-Livelihood support for the extremely poor and vulnerable
The pandemic has slowed construction of new water and toilet projects, but we are encouraged by the continued progress of DSK as well as their commitment to COVID-19 prevention messaging. Last quarter they were able to complete about 25% of their planned projects; they continue to revise construction plans given current constraints and are committed to completing all projects within the calendar year. Payment extensions have been granted to all borrowers of the low-interest loan that DSK uses to help support water projects.
We were struck by the unanimous decision of our colleagues at DSK to donate a percentage of their monthly salaries to support the most vulnerable in their communities during this time.
We will continue to update you on the spread of COVID-19 in our project communities. Your support has been invaluable to our in-country partners during this challenging time. We are grateful for our entire Water1st community, from donors to colleagues locally and abroad—our collective actions continue to make a difference.
Do you want to learn more about the progress of our projects and the extraordinary measures being taken by our in-country partners? Join a conversation with Marla Smith-Nilson, Founder and Executive Director, and Kirk Anderson, Director of international Programs, on Monday, July 27 at noon PST.
Sales tax: Sales tax is based on your address. We’ll send you a receipt that includes your sales tax and shipping fee (if applicable).
Approximate shipping costs:
Fall 2021 promotion – Free shipping of orders of 12 bottles (1 case). You may order as many cases as you want. Free shipping promotion is limited to 2 cases/person/month.
Please note approximate shipping costs vary depending on destination. Due to shipping fees that are beyond our control, our suggested minimum order is 3 bottles:
1-3 bottles $24-28
6 bottles $27-37
12 bottles $37-57
*If shipping to Alaska and Hawaii, please call the winery for a quote at (509) 875-2211
Shipping available to the following 36 states + Washington DC: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Water from Wine is a very small winery and unable to benefit from competitive shipping rates that larger wineries enjoy. Wine is shipped via UPS, which adds additional fees for shipping alcohol because an adult over 21 must sign for delivery. Water from Wine does not profit from shipping costs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns..