First Person Blog

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Photo of the week: How to use a tippy-tap

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Photo: Holly Pickett/Oxfam America
Photo: Holly Pickett/Oxfam America

Sadio Danfakha washes her hands with a tippy-tap, a low-cost, low-tech plastic container used to promote hand washing in places with no running water. Oxfam and our partner AKAD distributed tippy-taps along with soap and bleach (to treat drinking water) as part of our humanitarian program to help people suffering from a dramatic food shortage in 2011-2012.

When I met Danfakha in Senegal last October, she said she had been working closely with Wally Cissokho of AKAD, who is in charge of promoting good hygiene practices as a means to avoid diseases.  “We teach people how to use the hygiene kits, and sometime I show them how to use the kits when Wally is not there.”

Danfakha says that when people starting using the tippy-taps and treated water there were fewer cases of diarrhea in her village, Biatilaye. “We now wash our hands before eating, and we wash our clothes more now. Before, it was hard to get soap to wash our hands, but then Wally came and it is now easier to get soap.”

She says she decided to help promote better hygiene in her village as a volunteer. “I have been going with Wally to distribute the hygiene kits. I do it just to help, because we are all neighbors, and I like to help others.”

“It was not a long time ago that my husband passed away. So I am taking the opportunity to help other people instead of sitting home all alone in the house.”


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  1.'Shannon Buchbach

    Dear Oxfam,

    I work with an NGO in the DRCongo. We are currently establishing a health clinic in a village of Jalasiga, Mahagi Territory in the North East of the country and are looking at ways to promote handwashing and safe drinking water. How can we see about the possibility of partnering with the TIppy Tap project?


    Kind regards,
    Shannon Buchbach


      Dear Shannon,
      thanks for your comment. I’m a public health advisor for Oxfam and I’m happy to give you some info on how to get engaged with learning about tippy taps. They are really quite simple to set up and we’ve done some evaluation in Ethiopia that I’m also happy to share.

  2. Chris Hufstader

    Dear Shannon — probably the best thing to do is check out the web site for more on the mechanism itself, good luck in DRC.


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