“Our lives will never be the same again,” says Tonderai. “Because we did not know the causes of the health problems we were having, we were always repeating the same behaviour that was making us sick. All along we did not wash our hands but now we know what we have to do.” Tonderai is proud to demonstrate what he learned about handwashing from Bopoma Villages’ staff at the tippy tap he built for his family.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the simple act of washing hands at critical times can reduce diarrhea by as much as 35%. Some experts say that handwashing with soap is the most effective way to prevent the leading causes of death for children globally. But handwashing in rural areas with poor access to water is a challenge. A tippy tap handwashing station provides an easy to build hands-free source of running water that encourages and facilitates hand washing. If soap is not available, wood ash is an effective alternative and readily available. Building a tippy tap is one of seven simple but powerful strategies Bopoma Villages teaches to build healthy families and communities in rural Zimbabwe.