Improved Handwashing Facilities

Improved Hand Washing Facilities for Pilot School

Tanzania Home Economics Association having worked in the Fishing communities for a number of years has been asking themselves why families in fishing communities have low priorities on Toilet/ Latrine construction. And why do schools latrines are not user friendly to children? Currently TAHEA has realized that holistic approach to development has better outcomes than single handedly projects which focus on one issue, in most cases there are more cause-effect issues which when neglected, affect project implementation as people do not live in isolation and many things around them are inter-related. Another lesson learnt is, collaboration and networking is key to the success of development projects, it helps to increase human and non human resources while utilizing the available expertise.

In regard of the above scenario,  the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF), the Touch Foundation and the School of Public Health at Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences (CUHAS)  of Mwanza have initiated a new Community Based Research Project (the Project), an elective course which aims to connect CUHAS Medical Doctor students with Community Based Organizations (CBOs)/ Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working in the Lake Zone to improve links between student research and community projects currently implemented on the ground. This was an opportunity for Tanzania Home Economics Association to link with the TOUCH Foundation partnership in finding solutions to her community challenges, especially in looking for answers which will inform our Community interventions.

School Sanitation Intervention project is a project which has been enriched by evidence from the field through researches conducted by  CUHAS students through TAHEA Community Engagement partnership with TOUCH Foundation and the School of Public Health at Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences (CUHAS)  of Mwanza who have initiated a new Community Based Research Project , an elective course which aims to connect CUHAS Medical Doctor students with Community Based Organizations (CBOs)/ Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working  in  the  Lake  Zone  to  improve  links  between  student  research  and community projects currently implemented on the ground. In 2014 four Students researched on the following topics:

  • Assessment of ethnic preferences to latrine construction and proper use. (a case of Bugogwa and Sangabuye wards)
  • Assess hygienic practices in respect of availing hand washing facilities as part of Latrine use among rural households(a case of Bugogwa  and Sangabuye wards)
  • Assessment of structural fitness of pit latrines at household level (a case of Bugogwa and Sangabuye ward)
  • Assess hygienic practices among school children as regards to toilet use and maintenance at pre-primary and primary school levels(a case of Bugogwa and Sangabuye wards)

 

TAHEA Mwanza prioritized the results from the Assessment of hygienic practices among school children as regards to toilet use and maintenance at pre-primary and primary school levels (a case of Bugogwa and Sangabuye wards) because Schools are major places where children learn new knowledge and skills, it is a place where children adapt to the use of latrines which lead to behavior change not to the children alone but they can disseminate the new knowledge to their families. Good learning sites are better when it comes to influence positive change, is this possible to the school children in Bugogwa and Sangabuye Wards.

TAHEA Mwanza is implementing a project on Sanitation and Hygiene in 10 Pilot Schools with the following objectives:

  • Enhanced useful data collection in 10 pilot schools based on CUHAS Research findings in Bugogwa and Sangabuye Wards.
  • School children have knowledge, skills, and supportive behavior and attitude towards  Sanitation  and  Hygiene  in  10  pilot  schools  in  Bugogwa  and Sangabuye Wards by 2015.
  • Contribute  to  minimum  standards  in  promoting  sanitation  and  hygiene practices 10 pilot School Latrine facilities in Bugogwa and Sangabuye wards by 2015.
  • TAHEA Mwanza increases ability to promote sanitation and hygiene activities in 10 pilot schools by year 2015

The Tippy-Tap in Uganda

The tippy-tap was initially developed in Zimbabwe by Jim Watt and Jackson Masawi. It consisted of a small gourd suspended on a string. The gourd was filled with water that could be dispensed in small quantities if the gourd was tipped by means of a string tied to its neck. Soap could be suspended on a string beside the gourd. Subsequently, the gourd was replaced with a small (3 or 5 liter) plastic jerry can with a hole punched in the side. A more recent addition is a piece of wood at the bottom of string tied to the neck of the jerry can. This allows the tap to be operated by foot, avoiding the need for any hand contact with the jerry can.

Research shows that a person washing hands under a tippy tap uses 40-50ml of water as compared with 600ml when water is accessed by other means. Tippy-taps are low-cost and can be easily constructed using available materials.

Reported Disadvantages of Tippy - Taps

  • Most tippy-tap users interviewed reported having to replace the jerry can, string, and wooden frame every year as they wear out and degrade in sunlight. One respondent suggested that a frame made of metal would be a useful improvement.
  • Other problems associated with tippy-taps were children playing with them and using all the water and the problem of jerry cans, water, or soap being stolen or used without permission. These problems were particularly acute in villages with severe water shortages and varied depending on the location of the house and the latrine.

 

TAHEA Mwanza Challenges in adopting the Tippy Tap Technology for use at target Schools included:

  • Large number of children
  • Security of the hand washing structures
  • Durability of the hand washing facilities

 

The above Tippy Tap User challenges and the ACORD observation, TAHEA Mwanza improved the technology to fit School use as listed below:

  • Three recruited officials (Project Manager, Credit and Accountant) will be responsible for the project at site who will be based in the community
  • Local government will be mobilized to support the project.
  • The improved hand washing facility can be used by many children
  • The improved hand washing facility promotes hygiene
  • The improved hand washing facility water containers are easily disconnected once the school sessions are over to prevent theft.
  • The improved washing facility uses little water thus addressing the issue of water wastage.
  • The improved hand washing facility is durable it can be used for many years and can easily be repaired.