Teckytap® is a durable, portable handwashing station and a Water Sanitation and Hygiene intervention in Ghana. Teckytap® is operated by a pedal to dispense clean water during handwashing. The target users of Teckytap® are schools and health facilities.
This new handwashing station device, and Water Sanitation and Hygiene intervention, is the initiative of Mr. Julius Kwami Tsatsu, a social entrepreneur based in Kwabenya, near Accra. Julius who was a teacher for eight years between 2001 and 2009, has seen on many occasions how children missed school because of illnesses related to poor sanitation and hygiene.
Also, Julius observed whiles working for an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that “other devices on the market also contribute to the cross contamination, because the users deposit germs on the tap they turn before handwashing and pick the germs back when closing the tap with their clean fingers.”
So he came up with a design that eliminates the need to touch a possibly contaminated tap or faucet after a handwash. That’s how Teckytap® was invented. “Teckytap® does not require the use of fingers to turn any tap as a pedal operated by the foot will cause the water to flow”, he added.
The Global Handwashing Partnership estimates that only 53% of the world’s schools provide ‘basic handwashing facilities’ for their students. This means that 900 million students currently have nowhere to wash their hands.
Data published by the Ghana Health Service show that upper respiratory tract infections, diarrhoea and pneumonia were among the top ten causes of outpatient morbidity in the year 2017 and account for 11.7%, 4.7 %and 0.8% of all cases.
It has been discovered also that, repeated episodes of diarrhoea in early life have a long-lasting and irreversible impact on a child’s nutritional status and development potential.
Here are strong reasons why Teckytap® is a very relevant social intervention. Indeed, handwashing has been identified as a simple and entirely sustainable way to improve the health and well-being of millions of people. Handwashing with soap especially is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions in reducing the infectious diseases.
According to the international charity, WaterAid, handwashing with soap (HWS) has been linked to:
- 16-23% reduction in risk of acute respiratory infection
- 50% reduction in pneumonia
- Substantial reduction in neonatal infections
- Up to 48% reduction in risk of endemic diarrhoea.
HWS has also been found to reduce school absenteeism by 43% fewer days. Infection-related infant deaths could be reduced by 27% by improving handwashing practices in healthcare facilities, and a further 40% by handwashing in the postnatal period. HWS has been proven also to prevent other diseases such as Ebola, SARS and hospital-acquired infections.
“The need we are solving with this device is to reduce sanitation related illnesses which leads to absenteeism among school children and also lead to low productivity and even death among adults”, Julius says.
Teckytap® is made of aluminium and highly coated galvanised pipes and plumbing materials that can last longer than other handwashing devices on the market. It comes with a 35litre aluminium bucket. The device comes in two categories: Teckytap Mini for school children, churches (children’s service), camps etc., and Teckytap Maxi for offices, hospitals, clinics, health centres, restaurants, events centres, Churches, homes and shops. The Teckytap® handwashing station device can be modified per specification of buyer.
According to Julius, the response from the public so far had been very good, with a few suggestions we have started incorporating into future works.” Mr. Julius Kwami Tsatsu through his own NGO, Community Alliance Foundation where he is Executive Director, have supplied a number of the devices to schools and organisations.
Already, 60 pieces of Teckytap mini has been supplied to World Vision Ghana, Nkwanta South and Kajebi districts in April 2019; 180 pieces of Teckytap mini supplied to Plan International Ghana for Central, Eastern and Volta region projects; and philanthropists Mr Reindolf Perbi has purchased a small number of them for schools like Akwapim Mampong Presby Primary and Junior High Schools. The price of Teckytap mini is GHS600.00, and Teckytap maxi sells for GHS800.00
For now, Julius and his team are working on improvements obtained through feedback from patrons. However, a major challenge for their Water Sanitation and Hygiene intervention has been funding, as there are no available loans for meeting orders from clients. Additionally, cost of materials and workmanship also makes the selling price look a bit high to some clients.
In spite of the challenges, Julius has high expectations for Teckytap: “I expect to see the Teckytap as the only reliable Handwashing device replacing all the present devices on the market, as it is technologically appropriate and very durable.”