Innovations for Poverty Action
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.
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 universities and is currently still in the iteration process as of August 2020.
Innovations for Poverty Action
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
The Povu Poa is targeted to users that lack access to piped water systems whether that is in rural areas or informal urban settlements.
The Povu Poa is constructed out of local plastic materials by MSR Global Health. Interview with Representative in 2020
The product is distributed to the end-users by the researchers. The product is not readily available for purchase.
300 Povu Poa systems have been distributed in Kenya as of 2020.
Material the station is made of
Mechanism which dispenses water
Is there an attached soap dispenser?
Volume of water used each time hand washing
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.
Schematic of the Povu Poa. Provided by researcher.
Provided by the manufacturer.
Basic replacement components such as the PVC tubes and buckets can be sourced in local communities.
5 years Interview with Representative in 2020
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.
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 third-party organizations, only testing performed by the designer.
No known safety hazards are related to this product.
Soap foaming dispenser.
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.
The manufacturer cites improved access to handwashing and behavior changes around hygiene as evaluation criteria.
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