Simple handwashing designs are fine at this time. As recommended by the WHO, the most important thing at this time is that they are widely available. The WHO are currently recommending that handwashing facilities with soap and water should be located in the following public places:

  • At the entrance to every building, for use on entry and exit. 
  • At all major bus and train stations, airports, and seaports.

We recommend that handwashing facilities are also stationed at all markets, food vending locations, and water points. 

We recommend considering the following factors when selecting or designing handwashing facilities:

  • What designs are easiest to produce at scale quickly?
  • What designs will be accessible for all people to use (including children, adults and people with disabilities)?
  • Which designs are ‘touch free’ or minimise the likelihood of re-contamination?
  • How can you ensure that soap and water is regularly replaced and the handwashing facility and taps are regularly cleaned?
  • Which designs are robust and will continue to function under high-use conditions?

This guide by Wash’em was developed before the COVID-19 outbreak but provides some examples of handwashing facilities and describes how to work with communities to design handwashing facilities that improve behaviour. 

The Handwashing Compendium provides guidance, local examples of and further resources on accessible low-cost handwashing facilities. The HappyTap is an affordable and easy to deploy handwashing facility that can be ordered in bulk and shipped worldwide. 

Are tippy taps ok? 

Designs like the tippy-tap are easy to replicate quickly. However, tippy-taps are prone to breaking easily. So if you are setting up tippy-taps you should also establish mechanisms for the water and soap to be regularly replenished. Tippy taps are appropriate to promote for household use during this time because they are affordable to construct. 

Want to know more about COVID-19 and handwashing? 

Editor's note

Author: Sian White
Review: Katie Greenland, Ammar Fawzi
Last update: 28.04.2020

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