Groundbreaking handwashing station

Each day, diarrhea kills more than 1,500 children under five. Research has shown that hand washing is the most cost-effective and powerful intervention -preventing more than 40 percent of cases of diarrheal disease and other illnesses. Effective handwashing stations are critical to this effort. Existing handwashing station options are often expensive, not sustainable, difficult to construct, and/or enable recontamination as it forces one to handle a dirty tap after washing.

Technology solution

Following the user-centric design approach, PATH has developed an innovative, low-cost, and highly effective solution to this long-running challenge. This design process ensures the products viability as a practical, effective, and easily adopted low cost solution that can be used by all, including children.

Unique benefits of this device include:

  • Integrated soap reservoir (liquid and bar soap)
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Folds flat for distribution
  • Optimized flow rate -conserves precious resources whilst ensuring coverage
  • Ease of production and repair

Project status

We have conducted initial testing of the hand wash station in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zambia in four different use settings: health facilities, schools, households, and refugee communities. Users have provided insight and feedback on the design, use cases, and maintenance needs for the hand wash station which has been incorporated into the current prototype. We continue to test and improve upon the design.