by Reinhold Mangundu

I believe that love and empathy can indeed help us survive the wave of despair surging through society right now.

In rural Namibia, the community of Sonder Water now has tippy taps to wash their hands without having to touch a communal tap and risk spreading the disease as well as enough food to make it through their 21 day lockdown.

I study at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, but returning home to Namibia ahead of the lockdown, I was struck by the reality of what many of my friends and family in the township would be facing during these unprecedented time. Without access to running water, the instruction to “wash your hands for 20 seconds at least 10 times a day” is useless. Without the ability to earn an income during this time, many would go without food.

Friends and I started fundraising and managed to raise nearly R20 000 overnight. We bought food and soap in bulk to provide for a community of about 100 people for the lock down and built two tippy taps.

Coronavirus is indiscriminate. Only by having compassion on others are any of us safe. I’d like to challenge you to consider how you can help other people during this time.

Community members collect vital provisions ahead of Namibia’s 21 day lockdown.

Reinhold demonstrates how a tippy tap works.

For instructions on how to build your own tippy tap, click here