Updated on October 16, 2022


Created on June 20, 2020

Povu Poa

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The Povu Poa is a portable handwashing system that utilizes a foaming soap dispenser and a water-efficient tap for use in household and institutional environments that lack access to piped water systems.

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Product Description

The Povu Poa is a handwashing station designed to reduce water and soap consumption while improving the hygienic aspects of handwashing. The Povu Poa comes in a bucket stand model and a pipe model. The soap used in the Povu Poa is turned into foam allowing for a reduction in soap used. The Povu Poa design is continuously being improved. The Povu Poa was created collaboratively between  poverty action & universities and was in the iteration process as of August 2020.

Market Suggested Retail Price


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Innovations for Poverty Action

Manufacturing/Building Method

The Povu Poa is constructed out of local plastic materials by MSR Global Health. Interview with Representative in 2020 

Intellectural Property Type

Open Source

User Provision Model

The product is distributed to the end-users by the researchers. The product is not readily available for purchase.

Distributions to Date Status

300 Povu Poa systems have been distributed in Kenya as of 2020.

Design Specifications

The PovuPoa holds water in a storage container (bucket or pipe). The flow rate of the water is controlled by a swing tap that is adjusted by the back of the user's hand. As the user pushes the tap further in one direction, more water will flow out of the tap. The Povu Poa Soap Foamer creates a soap foam by mixing soapy water and air that is powered by a foot pedal. The Povu Poa can be secured to a permanent structure to reduce theft.

Technical Support

Provided by the manufacturer.

Replacement Components

Basic replacement components such as the PVC tubes and buckets can be sourced in local communities.


5 years Interview with Representative in 2020 

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The Povu Poa was designed to reduce the risk of spreading disease and infection by limiting contact with the water tap. Also, the Povu Poa was designed to reduce the amount of soap used in the handwashing process and potential pay for itself within 2.5 years in cost savings.

Vetted Performance Status

The Povu Poa was tested in 30 schools, 300 communities, and 4 clinics in Kenya by Jaynie Whinnery and team. The results from the study showed that the cost of 100 handwashes was estimated to be $0.10 with the Povu Poa, a $0.35 reduction from average cost estimates. The study also demonstrated a willingness for individuals to purchase the Povu Poa. In addition, the study saw an increase in access to soap in schools and clinics. No third-party testing has been completed.


No known safety hazards are related to this product.

Complementary Technical Systems

Soap foaming dispenser.

Academic Research and References

This paper outlines the design and implementation process of the Povu Poa.

Whinnery, J., et al., 2016, “Handwashing with a Water-Efficient Tap and Low-Cost Foaming Soap: The Povu Poa “Cool Foam” System in Kenya,” Global Health: Science and Practice, no. 4 (2), pp. 336-341.

This paper focuses on an analysis of behavioral changes associated with the installation of a Povu Poa.

Wichaidit, W., et al., 2019, “Effect of an equipment-behavior change intervention on handwashing behavior among primary school children in Kenya: the Povu Poa school pilot study,” BMC Public Health, no. 19 (1), pp. 647.

Whinnery et. Al 2016 https://catapultdesign.org/files/2015/08/Glob-Health-Sci-Pract-2016-Whinnery-336-41.pdf

Compliance with regulations


Other Information

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