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As Diarrhoea kills thousands in Tanzania: Innovative hygiene taps launched

The  World Bank estimates that nearly 30,000 people in Tanzania people die annually due to diarrheal diseases and an estimated 12.6 percent of children suffer from diarrheal diseases.

The new SATO tap

To aid hygiene in the country, SATO, part of LIXIL, an award-winning social business has just introduced the innovative water saving Tap in Tanzania.

It is supposed to be a significant step in improving access to affordable and sustainable handwashing facilities.

The newly launched SATO Tap, according to a press statement, is designed to allow hand washing with as little as 100ml and reuses a variety of plastic bottle shapes and sizes, reducing waste.

To ensure availability in the country, SATO has a manufacturer partner in the country, SILafrica, making Tanzania the first African country to host a manufacturing plant for the water-saving technology.

So far, the plant has produced over 200 thousand units serving Tanzania and neighbouring countries, bringing SATO closer to meeting its goal of improving handwashing access across Africa.

According to UNICEF, 40 Percent of the world’s population does not have access to basic handwashing facilities at home. In the world’s least-developed countries, it is as high as 75 percent of the population. 

The World Bank estimates that nearly 30,000 people in Tanzania people die annually due to diarrheal diseases and an estimated 12.6 percent of children suffer from diarrheal diseases.

There is a widespread and deep-rooted belief that diarrhoea is part of growing up and cannot be prevented.

Across Africa, only 15 percent of the population has access to basic handwashing facilities with soap and water.

In urban areas, less than a quarter (24 percent) of the population has access to handwashing facilities.

In Tanzania, prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, 59 percent of the country’s households had handwashing facilities that included soap and water; however, only 22.83 percent of these facilities were functional.

This gap motivated SATO to design an innovative handwashing solution in 2020.

The organization is partnering with other key stakeholders like UNICEF to fast-track access to SATO Taps, especially in rural areas and underserved markets. Currently, SATO is concentrating on establishing a supply network, targeting to have the SATO Tap available in most retail outlets across the country by the end of the year.

Justin Mbowe, SATO leader, Tanzania, noted that most people know and understand how to wash their hands and the value of doing so, but lack a convenient place to do so.

“The solution is as simple as ensuring that families have access to water and soap next to where they go to the toilet or prepare food.” He spoke.

“Although the scale of the hygiene and sanitation challenge is daunting, change starts small, we are committed to ensuring that our products are available affordably and sustainably,” Mbowe added.

On his part, SATO Leader, Africa, Samuel Langat, emphasised that the organisation is committed to ensuring that populations live a better, healthier life from improved sanitation.

 “In the fight against diseases caused by poor sanitation, we are leaving no one behind. Launching the SATO Tap in Tanzania is a testament to our commitment to add value to communities across the continent.”  

SATO engaged various partners during the design process of the innovative tap, receiving valuable technical inputs and validation of the efficacy of the SATO Tap design.

The tap which consists of a plastic base with a nozzle that can be fitted with widely available plastic bottles.

It is compact and can be used both within the home and as a handwashing station at public facilities.

The unique design ensures minimal contact between the user and the tap, thereby reducing the spread of disease, while the trickle action minimizes water use, meaning fewer refills while maintaining a solid flow of water.  

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