Every year, 3.5 million children die from diarrhea and acute respiratory infection in developing countries. A simple act of washing hands with soap can prevent these illnesses and save 1.2 million of these children.
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.
When the container is empty, the cap is unscrewed and the container is removed from the stick. The container is then filled again at a water pump, and reassembled.
A first version of the Tippy Tap was designed by Dr. Jim Watt of the Salvation Army in Chiweshe, Zimbabwe, and was called the Mukombe. The Mukombe is a type of gourd or calabash, which can be used as the can. But many vessels can be used in the same way, such as those used for cooking oil or milk. Tippy taps are promoted by UNICEF and WaterAid in Uganda, and are used in India, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.
An effort is being made in the Sehore, a district in Madhya Pradesh, India which witness a low yearly rainfall resulting in a low water table. Samarthan team, working in Sehore is trying hard to bring about changes in the hygienic behaviour among the community in Sehore district. But availability of water is the major hindrance. The team along with the support of the District Collector are now trying to adopt the Tippy Tap model which is providing the apt solution to the problem in Sehore regarding water. Since the installation of the Tippy Tap model, it has attracted the attention of the people. They are excited and are willing to use this method as it is convenient to setup and use. Particularly the children are very excited and are willing washing their hands using this new model.
‘Tippy Tap’, an initiative taken by Dr. Sudam Khade, District Collector, Sehore resulted in development of exemplary model for large scale replication of ‘zero cost’ hand washing station throughout the district. The innovative tippy tap approach provides opportunity to Aanganwadi workers and the community to design their own tippy taps using the local resources which are readily available in the village without any financial investment. The first tippy tap was installed in AWC, Dodi village under the supervision of Mr. Vasu Shena Misra, TO-WASH, MPTAST and Mr. Rajeev Singh, DPO WCD Department, Sehore with the support of Samarthan team. It was inaugurated by Ms. Aruna Sharma, ACS, PRD Department, GoMP on the occasion of launch of Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd Oct’2014.
The effort was well appreciated and it was decided replicate the success of Tippy Tap in Dodi to all other AWCs in Sehore district. Opportunities were provided to AWWs & their helpers to explore the possibility of evolving alternate models of Tippy Taps mobilizing local resources.
It was also decided to launch first phase of Tippy Taps in the locations where ‘Sneha Shivir’ has to be organized under 4th round of SuPoSHaN Abhiyaan. Tippy Taps were installed in 38 AWCs, the locations selected for Sneha Shivirs organized in Jan’2015. Following this, CDPO/Supervisors experimented similar field level intervention to mobilize AWWs for installation of Tippy Taps in their AWCs. Consequently, about 150 Tippy Taps got installed by Feb’2015.
Appreciating the deliberate efforts made by District Administration, Sehore for successful implementation of Tippy Taps during Sneha Shivir and thereafter, Ms. Pushplata Singh, Commissioner, Women & Child Welfare Department in her letter dated 7th Feb’2015 to the DPOs, WCD recommended for installation of Tippy Taps in all 51 districts. Also Tippy Tap got included in the list of suggested items recommended for ideal child friendly Aanganwadi centers.
Dr. Sudam Khade, DM, Sehore says that Tippy Tap being a low cost local technology is well accepted in the community and is more sustainable as it can be easily repaired by the community themselves. It can be easily placed anywhere. Also the children are enjoying using the hands free device and this in turn helps to inculcate hygiene practices among them.
Mr. Rajeev, DPO-WCD, Sehore says that 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 milliliters of water to wash your hands versus 500 milliliters using a mug. Additionally, the used “waste” water can go to plants or back into the water table.
He added that Tippy Taps has already been installed in all the 530 Aanganwadi Center having its own building and additionally we have been successful in installing Tippy Tap in 238 AWCs which are operational in rented building. He said that the biggest learning we had in the whole process is that no deliberate efforts were being made for district wide replication of the innovative approach. IEC was almost effortless, no formal training was provided to the implementing agencies and is being implemented by sustaining the interest of the Aanganwadi Workers and their Supervisors. It is self-sustainable as no cost is involved in its construction and resulted in the adoption of hygiene behavior among children and their parents.
Tippy Tap approach of Sehore demonstrates an exclusive example of district wide replication of ‘Zero Cost Technology’ in a short span by mobilizing the behavior change practices among the children in a learn and fun method.