Handwashing container and dispenserBushProof has developed a handwashing container and dispenser that is suitable for scaling up handwashing initiatives, especially in emergencies where time is short and water is scarce. An information leaflet is available.
The handwashing container has been sold to organisations working in numerous countries. Due to growing interest, the sale of this product is now handled by Butyl Products Ltd who have the capacity to rapidly ship to (emergency) projects around the globe. For more information contact Butyl Products (www.butylproducts.co.uk) or call: +44 (0)1277 653281
- Maximum impact: The low unit cost allows agencies to have a large health impact with a limited budget.
- Water saving: The low flow rate of 2 litres in 16 minutes allows for adequate cleansing, while creating a greater incentive for use in water-scarce situations.
- Visibility: It is possible to have logos printed on the container.
- Transferable: The dispenser fits soft drink bottles, allowing longer-term use in case of damage to the container.
- Durable: The container is made from durable U/V-resistant polyethylene.
- One-stop solution: The nozzle comes complete with a collapsible container, resulting in cost-effective shipping, while also ensuring that large quantities of suitable containers do not have to be sourced elsewhere. This is especially applicable in emergencies.
Practical initiatives to stimulate handwashing practices have often been sidelined in the past with regards to the implementation of water and sanitation projects. This has especially been the case in emergencies, where the set-up of water and sanitation hardware has often been given priority over the need to improve hygiene practices (with the exception of some soap distribution and hygiene education). This reality is at odds with the fact that handwashing as a stand-alone factor has been shown to reduce diarrhoeal incidence as much as either water or sanitation.
This situation however is not entirely surprising. While practical hardware solutions are readily available for both water supply and sanitation, there are few practical hardware solutions for handwashing that enable families to put hygiene teaching into practice, especially in an emergency and on a large scale with speed.
Our idea was to create a handwashing container that could be given out to improve hygiene interventions, resulting in measurable improvements in morbidity rates. This was envisaged because having such a hardware solution would enable people to actually put into practice what they learned. Such a solution needed to be practical, both for the agency (in terms of issues like cost and shipping) but more importantly for the user (in terms of convenience like being water saving and household based).
Handwashing at household level
Where handwashing facilities are provided, they are often promoted for use at sanitation facilities, usually on a communal level. While this is good (where practised), it neglects the fact that most of the 'critical times' for handwashing occur at the home, where handwashing is not regularly practised. Such 'critical times' include before eating, before preparing food and after cleaning up children - in fact, the majority of handwashing times.
In a similar way to what other household technologies have demonstrated, we envisage that promoting handwashing dispensers at the household level will foster a sense of ownership and increased use. In such a situation, a handwashing container at household level would be filled up by those who actually used it, rather than left empty as is so often seen at communal facilities.