U.7 Handwashing Facility

Regular handwashing during an emergency helps prevent the spread of diseases like diarrhoea, cholera and others. Handwashing Facilities need to be provided next to all toilet facilities. If handwashing is not a common practice, it needs to be promoted by tackling the drivers of handwashing behaviour. Handwashing Facilities require a constant supply of water and soap.User interface used for urination and defecation.

Handwashing with soap and water after being in contact with faecal matter, for example when going to the toilet, can lead to a substantial reduction of diarrhoeal diseases. Different studies suggest a 35–45 % reduction of the mortality rate due to diarrhoea and other water-related diseases. The practice of handwashing needs to be strongly promoted in any emergency situation and users should always have the means to wash their hands with soap. Handwashing promotion is especially important if the affected community is not used to regular handwashingor is traumatised. Two critical times for handwashing with soap should always be promoted: After using the toilet or after cleaning the bottom of a child who has been defecating, and before preparing food and eating. Handwashing stations need to be present within a short radius (max 5 m) of each toilet, regardless if private, shared or public and in all places where food is prepared or eaten, such as markets, kitchens and eateries.

User interface used for urination and defecation.

Design Considerations

A handwashing station has to include a constant source of water and soap. If water is not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser (or ash) may be used as an alternative. Handwashing facilities include taps of different sorts connected to a pipe or a container or simple low-cost solutions like Tippy Taps, which consist of a suspended jerrycan that can be tipped with a foot lever allowing water to flow out. Drainage of effluent is required in order to keep the area around the handwashing station clean and hygienic and not muddy and flooded. Effluent can be captured in a bucket catching the grey-water, or can be discharged into open drainage channels or into a closed sewer. Where soil conditions permit, greywater can be disposed of on-site, e.g. in Soak Pits D.10 . Alternatively, treatment and reuse options can be considered. Handwashing stations have to be inclusive  X.10 and children and people with reduced mobility have to be able to reach the handwashing facilities to use them. A very important design consideration is the durability of the tap. The tap needs to be very robust in order to prevent theft or breakage.

General term for a liquid that leaves a technology, typically after blackwater or sludge has undergone solids separation or some other type of treatment. Effluent originates at either a collection and storage or a (semi-) centralised treatment technology. Depending on the type of treatment, the effluent may be completely sanitised or may require further treatment before it can be used or disposed of.Total volume of water generated from washing food, clothes and dishware, as well as from bathing, but not from toilets (see blackwater). It may also contain traces of excreta (e.g. from washing diapers) and, therefore, some pathogens. Greywater accounts for approximately 65 % of the wastewater produced in households with flush toilets.Mixture of solids and liquids, containing mostly excreta and water, in combination with sand, grit, metals, trash and/or various chemical compounds. A distinction can be made between faecal sludge and wastewater sludge. Faecal sludge comes from on-site sanitation technologies, i.e. it has not been transported through a sewer. It can be raw or partially digested, a slurry or semisolid, and results from the collection and storage/treatment of excreta or blackwater, with or without greywater. Wastewater sludge (also referred to as sewage sludge) originates from sewer-based wastewater collection and (semi-)centralised treatment processes. The sludge composition will determine the type of treatment that is required and the end-use possibilities.Describes technologies for on-site collection, storage, and sometimes (pre-) treatment of the products generated at the user interface. The treatment provided by these technologies is often a function of storage and is usually passive (i.e. requires no energy input), except a few emerging technologies where additives are needed. Thus, products that are ‘treated’ by these technologies often require subsequent treatment before use and/or disposal. In the technology overview graphic, this functional group is subdivided into the two subgroups: “Collection/Storage” and “(Pre-)Treatment”. This allows a further classification for each of the listed technologies with regard to their function: collection and storage, (pre-) treatment only or both.Refers to the methods through which products are returned to the environment, either as useful resources or reduced-risk materials. Some products can also be cycled back into a system (e.g. by using treated greywater for flushing).A functional group is a grouping of technologies that have similar functions. The compendium proposes five different functional groups from which technologies can be chosen to build a sanitation system:
User interface (U), Collection and Storage/Treatment (S), Conveyance (C), (Semi-) Centralised Treatment (T), Use and/or Disposal (U).
A sanitation system is a multi-step process in which sanitation products such as human excreta and wastewater are managed from the point of generation to the point of use or ultimate disposal. It is a context-specific series of technologies and services for the management of these sanitation products, i.e. for their collection, containment, transport, treatment, transformation, use or disposal. A sanitation system comprises functional groups of technologies that can be selected according to context. By selecting technologies from each applicable functional group, considering the incoming and outgoing products, and the suitability of the technologies in a particular context, a logical, modular sanitation system can be designed. A sanitation system also includes the management and operation and maintenance (O & M) required to ensure that the system functions safely and sustainably. The utilisation of products derived from a sanitation system.
A sanitation system in which excreta and wastewater are collected and stored or treated on the plot where they are generated.
An organism or other agent that causes disease.Use of recycled water or other sanitation products.
The means of safely collecting and hygienically disposing of excreta and liquid
wastes for the protection of public health and the preservation of the quality of public water bodies and, more generally, of the environment.

Waste matter that is transported through the sewer.
An open channel or closed pipe used to convey sewage. See C.3 and C.4
User interface used for urination and defecation. Used water from any combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff/stormwater, and any sewer inflow/infiltration.
Le terme général employé pour un liquide sortant d’une infrastructure, habituellement après que les eaux noires ou les boues ont subi une séparation de la fraction solide ou un autre type de traitement. L’effluent provient soit d’un processus de collecte et de stockage, soit d’une technologie de traitement. En fonction du type de traitement, l’effluent peut être complètement assaini ou nécessiter un autre traitement avant d’être utilisé ou rejeté.Waste matter that is transported through the sewer.

Materials

Piped water or buckets with fitted taps are required for handwashing water distribution. The standard for handwashing water quantity at public toilets is 1–2 L per user per day. The amount needed increases if the water from these stations is used for other purposes, such as general cleaning of a toilet (2–8 L per cubicle per day), visiting of mosques (5 L per visitor per day) and/or laundry (4–6 L per person per day). The minimum standard for soap for personal hygiene including handwashing is 250 g per person per month. In public facilities, a constant supply of soap has to be ensured and can be good point of distributing soap to the community. If soap is limited it can be protected by drilling a hole through the bar of soap and tying it to the handwashing station (soap on a rope).

User interface used for urination and defecation.

Applicability

Handwashing needs to be enforced through constant promotion X.12 in any type of humanitarian emergency and at any stage by using multiple communication channels. Handwashing and handwashing promotion is particularly important in the acute stage of an emergency to prevent a worsening of the public health situation. People who are traumatised may be more prone to neglect their personal hygiene.

Operation and Maintenance

Water containers need to be refilled and soap needs to be restocked constantly in public facilities and distributed where handwashing is in private shelters. With piped water, there needs to be a plumber available for minor maintenance work and repairs. Drainage channels C.5 and Soak Pits D.10 for effluent disposal need to be checked for clogging on a regular basis. The Handwashing Facilities need to be kept clean. In the acute response phase of an emergency and during active hygiene promotion campaigns one staff member per toilet block, next to handwashing facilities, can remind people to wash their hands and provide guidance on operating the handwashing stations and toilets.

General term for a liquid that leaves a technology, typically after blackwater or sludge has undergone solids separation or some other type of treatment. Effluent originates at either a collection and storage or a (semi-) centralised treatment technology. Depending on the type of treatment, the effluent may be completely sanitised or may require further treatment before it can be used or disposed of.Mixture of solids and liquids, containing mostly excreta and water, in combination with sand, grit, metals, trash and/or various chemical compounds. A distinction can be made between faecal sludge and wastewater sludge. Faecal sludge comes from on-site sanitation technologies, i.e. it has not been transported through a sewer. It can be raw or partially digested, a slurry or semisolid, and results from the collection and storage/treatment of excreta or blackwater, with or without greywater. Wastewater sludge (also referred to as sewage sludge) originates from sewer-based wastewater collection and (semi-)centralised treatment processes. The sludge composition will determine the type of treatment that is required and the end-use possibilities.General term for rainfall runoff collected from roofs, roads and other surfaces. Very often the term is used to refer to rainwater that enters a sewerage system. It is the portion of rainfall that does not infiltrate into the soil.Describes technologies for on-site collection, storage, and sometimes (pre-) treatment of the products generated at the user interface. The treatment provided by these technologies is often a function of storage and is usually passive (i.e. requires no energy input), except a few emerging technologies where additives are needed. Thus, products that are ‘treated’ by these technologies often require subsequent treatment before use and/or disposal. In the technology overview graphic, this functional group is subdivided into the two subgroups: “Collection/Storage” and “(Pre-)Treatment”. This allows a further classification for each of the listed technologies with regard to their function: collection and storage, (pre-) treatment only or both.Refers to the methods through which products are returned to the environment, either as useful resources or reduced-risk materials. Some products can also be cycled back into a system (e.g. by using treated greywater for flushing).A functional group is a grouping of technologies that have similar functions. The compendium proposes five different functional groups from which technologies can be chosen to build a sanitation system:
User interface (U), Collection and Storage/Treatment (S), Conveyance (C), (Semi-) Centralised Treatment (T), Use and/or Disposal (U).
A sanitation system is a multi-step process in which sanitation products such as human excreta and wastewater are managed from the point of generation to the point of use or ultimate disposal. It is a context-specific series of technologies and services for the management of these sanitation products, i.e. for their collection, containment, transport, treatment, transformation, use or disposal. A sanitation system comprises functional groups of technologies that can be selected according to context. By selecting technologies from each applicable functional group, considering the incoming and outgoing products, and the suitability of the technologies in a particular context, a logical, modular sanitation system can be designed. A sanitation system also includes the management and operation and maintenance (O & M) required to ensure that the system functions safely and sustainably. The utilisation of products derived from a sanitation system.
The liquid that has passed through a filter.
A sanitation system in which excreta and wastewater are collected and stored or treated on the plot where they are generated.
The means of safely collecting and hygienically disposing of excreta and liquid
wastes for the protection of public health and the preservation of the quality of public water bodies and, more generally, of the environment.

Waste matter that is transported through the sewer.
An open channel or closed pipe used to convey sewage. See C.3 and C.4
The physical sewer infrastructure (sometimes used interchangeably with sewage).
User interface used for urination and defecation. Used water from any combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff/stormwater, and any sewer inflow/infiltration.
Le terme général employé pour un liquide sortant d’une infrastructure, habituellement après que les eaux noires ou les boues ont subi une séparation de la fraction solide ou un autre type de traitement. L’effluent provient soit d’un processus de collecte et de stockage, soit d’une technologie de traitement. En fonction du type de traitement, l’effluent peut être complètement assaini ou nécessiter un autre traitement avant d’être utilisé ou rejeté.The liquid that has passed through a filter.
Waste matter that is transported through the sewer.
The physical sewer infrastructure (sometimes used interchangeably with sewage).

Costs

Soap bars and plastic buckets for handwashing stations are usually cheap and locally available. They should be bought in great quantities at the beginning of an emergency. Other costs involve personnel for hygiene promotion and the construction of drainage or Soak Pits.

Social Considerations

Promotion of handwashing X.12 is crucial during an emergency. However the provision of Handwashing Facilities needs to be ensured first, or the promotion efforts will be less effective. Promotion of handwashing does not necessarily require a health-based message. Handwashing promotion messages can include social pressure, emotional or aesthetic appeals. Drivers or barriers for certain behaviours need to be assessed in order to have an effective message for the promotion of handwashing. The involvement of local champions and hygiene promoters is key for a successful campaign. In some cases, behaviour change interventions will be needed. Promotion of handwashing has to address different drivers of the behaviour like health risk perceptions, cost-benefit beliefs, emotions, experienced social pressure, abilities, and action and barrier-reduction planning.

Fact Sheet Overview

Inputs

Water
Soap

Outputs

Greywater

Response Phase

Acute Response + +
Stabilisation + +
Recovery + +

Challenging Ground Conditions

Suitable

Application Level

Household + +
Neighbourhood + +
City + +

Water-based or Dry Technology

Water-Based & Dry

Management Level

Household + +
Shared + +
Public + +

Technical Complexity

Low

Functional Group

User Interface

Required Space

Little

Objectives & Key Features

• Reduction of public health risks and pathogen transmission

Strength & Weakness

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