Patented hand-washing dispenser will reduce water-borne disease

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 19 October 2010

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed an affordable hand-washing device for poor communities to fight and prevent water-borne diseases.

Continuous use of the same water leads to contamination

The CSIR’s Ester Ngorima said in the developing world, diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections cause the death of millions of children under the age of five. Diarrhoea is estimated to kill around two to three million children annually.

Hand-washing with soap could cut these figures by half.

“Due to water scarcity, many rural and peri-urban people in South Africa face sanitation and hygiene challenges, leading to disease,” said Ngorima.

The device is easy enough to use. You need an empty 2l bottle filled with clean water. The hand-washing dispenser would then be screwed into the opening of the bottle.

“The dispenser releases enough water to enable hygienic hand-washing with soap. To get the water, place your hands under the device and it lift the plunger. When you lower your hands, the device seals itself.

“The device limits water wastage, with around 30 hand washes per 2l of water. It has a soap dish and typically hangs upside down on a bracket fastened to a wall,” said Ngorima.

While many people have tried using a bucket of water and a towel for hand-washing outside a toilet, the water evaporates from open buckets and the continuous use of the same water leads to contamination.

Unsupervised children and domestic animals tend to drink this water. Dust also gets into the exposed bucket of water. Continue reading