TIPPY TAPS ENHANCE HAND WASHING IN RURAL NANDI
Washing your hands helps remove harmful germs and bacteria that contribute to health problems such as diarrhea, foodborne illnesses, and respiratory infections. Therefore, washing your hands regularly enables you to stay healthy and reduces the likelihood of you or your loved ones getting sick.
A tippy tap is a simple innovative device operated by foot. It is designed to dispense flowing water in small amounts for washing hands.
The technology is gaining popularity in rural Nandi, especially in schools and areas where water is scarce.
In Nandi County, it is helping rural communities practice good hygiene (hand washing with water and soap) hence forestalling illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia that are leading causes of death in the country.
Mr. John Kibet, a public health officer in Mosop Sub County explains that the tippy tap is made using a five litre plastic jerry can, an aperture through its upper body which allows water to flow.
The plastic container hangs on a horizontal beam that is supported by V-shaped tree stems.
One end of a strong rope is tied to the mouth of the container, while the other end is tied around a piece of wood lying on the ground to create a pedal.
When one steps on the wooden pedal, the plastic container tilts and clean water flows through the small hole.
For ease of access and convenience, tins containing soap are placed next to the tippy tap, on its left and right side.
The County Department of Health and Sanitation, indicates that without hand washing facilities in schools, children are more susceptible to illness, and less able to learn and grow.
Infection prevention practices centered on hand hygiene (HH) protocols is being promoted across all county health facilities in Nandi.
Research indicates that worldwide, children lose 443 million school days each year because of water-related illnesses. More than half of these days (272 million) are as a result of diarrhea alone.
Yet according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease can be greatly reduced – by close to 50 percent – through hand washing with soap.
Nandi County through the Department of Health and Sanitation is contributing towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) ‘6’ which aims at ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.