Dr. Jim Watt
The TippyTap is a hands-free hand-washing station constructed using locally-available materials.
The TippyTap is a hands-free way to wash your hands appropriate for rural areas where there is no running water. It is operated by a foot lever and reduces the chance for bacteria transmission as the user only touches the soap. It uses only 40 mL of water to wash your hands versus 500 mL using a mug. Additionally, the used “waste” water can go to plants or back into the water table.
TippyTap can be adapted and built to suit the needs of locally-available materials worldwide.
Anyone can access the online manual on how to make your own TippyTap.
2-4 USD if new materials are purchased.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Communities, households, individuals, public institutions and groups with no access to running water and soap for hand-washing.
The solution is individually made with local materials.
Any individual or organisation can build a TippyTap using locally available resources. There are numerous online resources and manuals available.
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 TippyTap is a simple device for hand-washing with running water. In general, the makeshift device 5 L container with a small hole near the cap, which is filled with water and tipped with a stick and rope. The device is operated by a foot lever, which reduces the chance for bacteria transmission as the user touches only the soap.
A gravel bed is used to soak away the water and prevent mosquitoes. 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 for use.
Generic diagram of a standard TippyTap
Online manuals are available.
Components can be replaced using locally available resources.
Tippy Taps are designed to be simple and economical hand-washing stations, made with locally available materials and not dependent on a piped water supply.
This low-cost solution has been assessed and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Foodborne and Diarrheal Disease Branch and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. This is reflected in various publications released for public reference.
TippyTap is operated by a foot lever and thus reduces the chance for bacteria transmission as the user only interacts with the soap.
Chingatichifwe Mbakaya, B., Welcome Kalembo, F., Zgambo, M., 2020, Use, adoption, and effectiveness of tippy-tap handwashing station in promoting hand hygiene practices in resource-limited settings: a systematic review, BMC Public Health, 20 (1005).
Biran, A., 2020, Enabling Technologies for Handwashing with Soap: A Case Study on the Tippy-Tap in Uganda, Global Scaling Up Handwashing Project Working Paper.
This solution is recommended by various organisations in expanding sanitation access in resource limited settings, particularly across Africa (e.g. World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, Center for Disease Control).
This device is evaluated for its reduction in the incidence of diarrheal diseases, adaptability of the technology, amount of water used, and ease of use.
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