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Importance of

Treatment of dirty water for drinking is important, but arguably equally important, or even more important, is handwashing.


Handwashing is essential to remove germs from hands, as this is one of the main routes water as well as food can be contaminated. In addition, germs get into the body when hands come into contact with the eyes, nose or mouth. Germs can also be transferred onto objects or surfaces, such as door handles, toys


Scientific studies show that by simply washing hands with soap, without any other water treatment intervention, communities may see up to 48% of diarrheal reduction. Furthermore, respiratory illnesses and missing school because of stomach related illnesses for children is also reduced greatly!


Despite the benefits of handwashing with soap being well-known, its estimated that only 19% of people wash hands with soap after using the toilet globally.


Remember to always handwash with soap

  • before eating

  • after going to the toilet

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How to Wash Your Hands

Reproduced with permission from WHO How to HandWash Poster, 5 May 2009.

How to build a simple handwashing tap if you don't have access to a sink with piped water. A Tippy Tap!

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