There are many handwashing facilities and technologies to choose from. The simplest designs include the tippy-tap, or a simple bucket/can with a nail pushed through to make a hole. These are affordable, easy to replicate quickly, and can be suitable for household use. However, they also break easily, and some people find them difficult to use or don’t like the way they look. If you’re choosing low-cost technologies like tippy-taps, you’ll need to plan to frequently replenish water and soap and conduct repairs.

There are many guides available to help choose and maintain the right handwashing facilities. Here are a few recommendations:

  • The Handwashing Compendium provides guidance on handwashing facility designs for households and multiple users along with advantages and disadvantages of common designs. It includes information on accessibility, adaptability and operation and maintenance as well as links to other resources.

  • This guide by Wash’em provides examples of handwashing facilities and describes how to work with communities to design handwashing facilities that improve behaviour.

  • UNICEF and GIZ’s group washing compendium is a collection of exemplary designs for group washing facilities. It is intended as an introduction to the topic and the concept of group handwashing, as well as the principles and the basic requirements for facilities.

  • SNV’s practical guide to hand-washing stations for promoters and producers of handwashing facilities includes useful cost estimates for different designs.

  • WaterAid’s guide for handwashing facilities in public places was developed over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and features learnings from their work in numerous countries. This guide includes a strong focus on local ownership and operation and maintenance.

  • UNICEF India’s Guide for COVID-19 handwashing facilities pulls together designs that have been implemented across India during the pandemic. It includes detailed descriptions of materials and itemised costs.

  • UNICEF Fact Sheet on handwashing stations provides a useful comparison of handwashing facilities and their parts (e.g. taps).

  • These downloadable designs from iWash show how you can construct different types of low-cost handwashing facilities such as tippy taps, elbow taps, foot pedals, or bucket pump handwashing facilities.

  • The HappyTap is an affordable and easy to deploy handwashing facility that can be ordered in bulk and shipped worldwide.

  • The Jengu Handwashing facility is an open-source design that can be ordered in bulk or produced locally. It has been designed with behaviour and durability in mind.

  • The Oxfam Handwashing Stand can also be ordered and shipped worldwide. It is a multi-user handwashing facility suitable for public and crisis affected settings.

Want to learn more about designing effective and sustainable handwashing facilities:

Written by Alexandra Czerniewska

Reviewed by: Jamie Myers, Janita Bartell, Astrid Hasund Thorseth, Sheillah Simiyu

Last update: 02.03.2021

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