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A man washes his hands in Nigeria
Arne Hoel/World Bank
Defeat Poverty

This Nigerian Man Is Turning Drums Into Handwashing Basins to Fight Coronavirus

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Handwashing is essential for preventing the spread of COVID-19, but billions of people worldwide lack access to handwashing resources.The United Nations' Global Goal 3 aims to ensure good health and well-being for all and Global Goal 6 looks to secure clean water and sanitation. You can join us in taking action on this and related issues here.

A furniture-maker, Bamigbose Adams, in Nigeria has begun turning old metal drums into custom hand-washing basins to be sold in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.

Around 157 million Nigerians lack access to proper hand-washing facilities, according to a 2018 report — making it very difficult to follow the World Health Organization advice on washing hands regularly to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

Adams is doing his part to close this gap, while also allowing his business to stay open.

“I got the first drum, I tried it, and it worked out,” he told Reuters. “I posted it online, and people started requesting for it."

Adams told Reuters he has mainly provided these basins to businesses that do not want them to be a permanent fixture.

“I target store owners, restaurants, schools, and places where the public visits to either get their food stuff or drugs,” he told Reuters.

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Proper handwashing is critical for preventing COVID-19 infections, yet 3 billion people worldwide lack basic hand washing resources, according to the World Health Organization. A lack of access to clean water is a particular problem in Africa.

So far, there are 135 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, with two deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. Nigeria has implemented a quarantine for cities including Lagos, to control the spread of the disease.