Return to World Ark Blog Landing

I know I seem to keep harping on about biogas (and there's more to come!), but that's not the only form of appropriate technology we saw in Uganda. Here's a clever hand-washing station on a farm we visited. It's called a Tippy Tap, and it allows you to wash your hands without touching anything in the process.

We saw a couple of these on our trip, and they really make sense when running water isn't available. Much better than a bucket, that's for certain. We all know hand washing is a key way to stop the spread of many diseases. In a country like Uganda, which has a life expectancy of 52.98 years (yes, in large part a result of HIV/AIDS), avoiding disease like bacterial diarrhea is of the utmost importance.
Under Heifer Uganda's holistic farmer training curriculum, families participate in a course on home hygiene. Farmers are trained to keep their homesteads clean and tidy and to ensure reasonable hygiene and sanitation. This practice goes on in many of Heifer's projects worldwide.
The Tippy Tap is a local, cheap device that is affordable by all families. It was initiated by Heifer Uganda at this farm and others as one way of ensuring that family members and their visitors wash their hands with soap each time they use the pit latrine. In so doing, the possibility of spreading disease is minimized. The training and demonstration on how to make and use the Tippy Tap is done at one participant farmer's home, and thereafter each participant goes back home and makes one for the family.
The water used is clean and safe, drawn from individual roof water tanks--simple water harvesting techniques introduced to families by Heifer Uganda. When available, community protected wells, communal boreholes, natural springs and sometimes piped water may be the family's water source. The water sources, in most cases, are within walkable distances, and families ensure that the container has water in it at all times.


Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She and her husband raise two daughters in a house way too small for their four pets. They spend a lot of time sweeping.