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Better hygiene for better health

By Practical Action On 04.09.2023 HealthcareBlog

Part 1 of our series of blog posts: A past, present and future Shaped By Ingenuity.

Practical Action’s ethos has remained the same since the days of E.F. Schumacher’s influential book. But our approach and our solutions are continually adapting to the ever-changing world.

Lack of clean water and washing facilities creates huge health problems for communities. Children are worst affected, as frequent illness impacts their development, ability to study, and therefore their future prospects.

Tippy Tap

The Tippy Tap is a simple and ingenious solution for hand-washing. It is made from affordable, locally available materials: wood, a jerry can, string and some soap. The hand-washing station is operated using a foot lever. This means that the user only touches the soap, reducing the chances of spreading disease. It’s also very water efficient, using a tiny amount of water, so one bottle can wash many hands.

Tippy Tap hand washing photo

THEN: The simple and effective Tippy Tap continues to change lives today.


Clean water for all

Our Safe Pair of Hands project improved access to water for almost 20,000 people living in low-income communities in Kisumu, Kenya. Water pipeline extensions provided a clean, dependable water supply for drinking and hand-washing. But this was just the beginning. We shared hygiene knowledge and skills, with an emphasis on improving health and nutrition for children under 5 years old. Josephine Muhonja is a mother of three who took part in the hygiene training: “The teachings have been so impactful, and I am glad to have received a hand-washing facility that has helped me exercise good hygienic practices. My child’s weight has also significantly increased, and she has become a good feeder.” The community led the way throughout the project, from the design of the pipeline extensions, to the location of water access points and their maintenance. This project was funded through an appeal in which every eligible donation was matched by the UK government.

Pandpieri Primary photo

NOW: Your support helped communities in Kenya access a clean, life-changing water supply.

Both these solutions use appropriate technology to solve the problem of providing access to water for washing. Training ensures that people can make the most of their new water supply, benefitting a whole generation.