Handwashing stations in the Mafa Camp in Nigeria

In collaboration with Terre des Hommes and funding by Swiss Solidarity, the Gravit’eau handwashing stations are currently being tested in the Mafa  displacement camp in Borno state, Nigeria. The prototypes are being used by 200 children in the camp. In this crisis area with little and difficult access to water, sanitation and hygiene become second and third priority, as water is primarily needed for drinking and cooking purposes. However proper hand hygiene is crucial to prevent the spreading of diseases, with studies showing that handwashing can lower the incidence of diarrhoea and pneumonia among young children by 50% and limit the risk of cholera epidemic (Find the study here)

Here the Gravit’eau handwashing station can support the practice of handwashing, as it provides the service, without taking away needed water for drinking and cooking, by recycling the greywater on-site and without the use of electricity or chemicals.

Two different types of station are being tested in Nigeria. Three prototypes constructed in Switzerland and key materials for the construction of four local built prototypes were delivered to Nigeria.

One of the Swiss constructed prototypes was designed by Ralf Michel as the lead design research team at HGK Basel.

A three-day training workshop in Abuja with the six members of the Terre des Hommes Nigeria team was held, were the principles of operation of the Gravit`eau system, the assembly, and production of the locally produced prototypes, the set-up of the field study and the methods were explained.

First results already show that the stations are well received by the children using them on a daily basis. The technical insights for the field tests will further help us to make the station more robust in the future. The final results of the project are expected by the end of the year 2019.

More on the project at our partner Terre des hommes.