Handwashing With a Water-Efficient Tap and Low-Cost Foaming Soap: The Povu Poa “Cool Foam” System in Kenya

Handwashing With a Water-Efficient Tap and Low-Cost Foaming Soap: The Povu Poa “Cool Foam” System in Kenya. Global Health: Science and Practice, June 2016.

Authors: Jaynie Whinnery, Gauthami Penakalapati, Rachel Steinacher, Noel Wilson, Clair Null, Amy J Pickering.

The new handwashing system, designed with end user input, features an economical foaming soap dispenser and a hygienic, water-efficient tap for use in household and institutional settings that lack reliable access to piped water.

Cost of the soap and water needed for use is less than US$0.10 per 100 handwash uses, compared with US$0.20–$0.44 for conventional handwashing stations used in Kenya.

KEY PRODUCT FEATURES OF THE POVU POA HANDWASHING SYSTEM

  • Soap security: The soap foamer is attached to the system, preventing theft
  • Affordability: Just 5 g of powdered or liquid soap mixed with 250 mL of water can provide 100 uses for US$0.10 (cost includes soap and water).
  • Hygienic: The innovative swing-tap design is bidirectional and can be used with the back of the hand or wrist, limiting recontamination of hands after handwashing.
  • Water-frugality: The water flow is sufficient for handwashing while providing a 30-77% reduction in water usage compared with conventional methods.
  • Scalability: Components are specifically designed for low-cost mass production and deployment, estimated at US$12 per unit.
  • Adaptable: The 2 handwashing station configurations can be adapted to meet different needs and preferences and can be used in households and institutional settings, such as schools and health centers.

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