The tippy tap is a hands-free way to wash your hands that is especially appropriate for rural areas where there is no running water. It is operated by a foot lever and thus reduces the chance for bacteria transmission as the user touches only the soap. It uses only 40 millilitres of water to wash your hands versus 500 millilitres using a mug. Additionally, the used “waste” water can go to plants or back into the water table.
While the tippy tap is a great technology, it is just that – a technology. It is important to recognise that there is a difference between great technology and adoption of the technology. However, it is a great tool that can help kick start the conversation about hand washing with soap and help increase this behaviour. And it does so in a fun and easy manner that is especially appealing to children.
For more information about the tippy tap and how to use it as part of hand washing promotion campaign, see www.tippytap.org.
SSMJ thanks Sowmya Somnath, WASH Program Director, for permission to publish the directions on how to build a tippy tap.