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Hand-washing station drive to address lack of running water in tribes

Pixabay photo/Jacqueline Macou

PHOENIX — In effort to decrease the coronavirus rates in Native American communities, hand washing stations will be distributed to families in Navajo and Hopi Nations who don’t have access to indoor plumbing or running water.

The Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund is heading the Clean Hands Program, which aims to address the disproportionate rate of the pandemic in these communities.

Thirty percent of homes in the Navajo Nation do not have indoor plumbing, relief fund interim executive director Ethel Branch said in a statement.

“Although the Center of Disease Control and Prevention advocates for measures like hand washing to help decrease the spread of COVID-19, many of our tribal members cannot simply turn on a faucet to wash their hands,” she said.

The hand washing stations include a three-foot tall stand with a food pump for water, a hand-washing basin and a container that holds water and a soap dispenser.

Since the project began, almost 3,500 homes that do not have running water have requested assistance.

This need was brought to the relief fund’s attention when more than a third of homes that asked for a kinship care package consisting of food, water and PPE said the house did not have running water.

On Friday night, the Navajo Department of Health reported that there have been 30,355 positive cases of COVID-19 and 1,262 deaths in the community.

To donate, visit the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund’s ongoing GoFundMe page.

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For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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