The Tippy Tap

It has reached the point where almost all of the slabs are finished and families are building their latrines! This past week, we also molded the school latrine slabs, which involved hundreds of students doing their part by carrying rocks and sand, fetching water, and holding the pipes in place while the contractor poured the cement.  While the school will receive tanks they can fill with water for hand washing, the households will need to make their own hand washing stations. I did some research and this is what I discovered.

Invented for exactly this purpose, the “Tippy Tap” is a hands-free way to wash one’s hands without running water. Two sticks, each with a fork at one end, are placed in the ground (dig a hole, put the stick in, fill it with rocks, pack it, the whole deal). A straight stick is put through the handle of a jug and then hung between the two standing sticks. One end of a rope is tied to the mouth of the jug while the other end is attached to a stick on the ground. Any time someone want to wash his hands, he simply needs to step and the stick to tilt the jug and pour out some of the water. Brilliant, right?

I was skeptical at first, but I tried one the other day and it worked perfectly!

Tippy Tap

Now I merely need to encourage the other 197 households to do the same. If any part of me has grown since coming to Ghana it is my patience (and my hair).

Next time you hear from me I hope to be relaxing at the beach and eating banana pancakes.  I’ll tell you all about it then.