During the spread of Coronavirus in Rwanda, these workers are building our first line of defense.
They are building ‘tippy taps’, which are water dispensers for hand-washing, that you can find all over Kigali. They are placed in front of shops and bus terminals and people are actually using them, otherwise they are reminded by a security guard to do so.
This workshop, Gakinjiro, situated in central Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, was rather crowded and the hope is that there were no infected people among the workers.
In the pictures, the different stages of construction of the dispensers are represented: the sawing and soldering of the metal bars of the trellis stands, and the bending of metal sheets to build water tanks for the models not made of plastic.
During my time in the workshop I had the occasion to appreciate the good atmosphere between the workers. Amidst the loud machinery noise, it was not uncommon to also hear a great deal of laughter.
These photos were taken one day before lockdown which resulted in the complete closure of the workshop, with dozens of workers subsequently left without pay to fend for themselves during lock-down.
Another consequence of the lock-down is that now the prices of the tippy taps shot up with increases of 50% or more even if it is an essential item to stem the diffusion of the virus.