Monday, March 20, 2017

Innovation in the village

by Titus Obbo, UVP Program Manager

"Necessity is the mother of invention."

Tippy taps are locally-constructed hand washing stations that makes it easier for people living in the village to wash their hands in a place without running water. Re-purposed plastic jugs are hung next to a latrine or living space, and a piece of wood is used as a foot pedal to tilt the bucket and drip water onto your hands. It's a great invention -- but it also runs out of water quickly when used in a public space.

Anna next to her large-scale hand washing stationAnna has been an intern two times with UVP, but she's also an entrepreneur and innovator. While working with rural communities in Iganga to promote hand washing best practices, Anna decided to think about how to improve hand washing facilities in order to support public places that have no running water. She innovated a modern tippy tap that can serve hundreds of people per day, perfect for a busy primary school or other public location.

The new design has a larger-capacity tank that refills the smaller tippy tap with water. One of the biggest issues with tippy taps is the need to regularly refill the jug, so this reduces the number of times it needs to be refilled and keeps it full longer.

Tippy taps help to prevent recontamination after washing hands since a pupil doesn't need to touch it. The students step on the paddle connected to the bucket to enable it tip over and allow water to flow. My dream is to scale up this project to all primary and secondary schools in all the healthy villages where UVP has worked in before and the future healthy villages. Coupled by my interest in sharing knowledge with others, part of my plan is to identify local fabricators and train them to begin producing and supply the local markets around Iganga and the neighboring districts.

Right now we're continuing to focus on household tippy taps, but we're pleased that interns like Anna help us innovate and dream of big plans for the future.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Looks like a great invention.