How do you wash your hands when you don’t have running water?
Build a Tippy Tap: The team had a great time building “tippy taps” (simple, economical hand washing stations) with the community over the weekend. I borrowed this diagram from TippyTap.org, which has a lot of great resources for hand washing, including practical instructions for building your own tippy tap at home (or maybe on your next camping trip).
One of the biggest adjustments for our team while staying in Mbokop is the lack of clean running water (lack of electricity comes in at a close second). Therefore, building a tippy tap at the house where we stay has a lot of practical benefits for our team and partners. For starters, soap and water is much more effective for cleaning the construction dirt from under your finger nails than hand sanitizer!
But it also has lasting benefits for the community. By training community members and leaders from the health committee on how to construct a tippy tap from simple, affordable, and available materials, the activity will have an impact that persists well beyond their trip. The Mbokop Health Committee has prioritized hand washing among the health education activities that are being implemented as part of this project. In particular, the health education target areas include hand washing methods and knowledge of critical instances of hand washing. According to WASH Advocates, the simple act of washing hands at critical times can reduce the number of diarrheal cases by up to 35% (for this and other interesting water, sanitation, and hygiene facts, visit: http://www.washadvocates.org/learn/). Increasing the availability of hand washing stations in the community will ensure both the opportunity to demonstrate these practices, as well as the chance for the community members to implement lasting changes in behavior. Only with proper sanitation and hygiene practices can the full health benefit of a clean drinking water supply system be realized!
More Pictures: We received a few more photos from Mbokop today! The team looks to be doing well, and the construction has progressed nicely. You can see the spring box in progress and nearing completion.