September 14, 2018, Bomanhalli: It is estimated that nearly 7% of children experienced diarrhoea in the past two weeks. Incidence of diarrhoea was significantly higher among 1-3 years male children the state of Karnataka, due to lack of access to clean water and not maintaining basic standards of hygiene, as per a specific study of Karnataka. In order to address these through accessible and affordable solutions, Soapy and Swasti Health Catalyst have joined hands to tackle this widespread sanitation problem in Bomanhalli district, Karnataka under the initiative, ‘a water-saving innovation to promote hand washing among children’.
Through the initiative, Swasti and Soapy have launched unique handwashing units in the district, which uses 95% less water than other alternatives. It is therefore ideally suited to water scarce, remote locations, which have no electric power. It inculcates hand washing at critical times among children. It has been installed in one school in Bomanahalli currently on a pilot basis and the progress will be monitored. The aim is to engage 500 students across schools to take this forward as a peer learning programme. The handwashing programme will be conducted with batches of 100 students to inculcate and track good hygiene behaviour and progressively cover several schools. This innovation economises on water while making it a fun activity.
Mr. Nitya Jacob, Lead, WASH, Swasti, said, “We have been associated with Soapy for the past one year providing affordable, accessible and quality primary health services to urban and rural poor. As a part of our partnership, we have created a platform for testing a new hand-washing product that can be used in remote locations where water is scarce. The new off-grid system can work without any electricity or water, or can be integrated with an existing power and water supply facility. This new system is our first revolutionary step towards promoting hand hygiene practices with effective social and behavior change interventions”
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Max Simonovsky, Founder & CEO, Soapy said “We are here in Bomanhalli to offer an intelligent hygiene micro-station, powered by a smart-capsule capable of producing an accurate dose of soap and water. We have developed an independent and affordable hygiene station. It generates water from the atmosphere and uses a proprietary soap formula, to wash hands to standards set – by the World Health Organization. IoT connection will provide a real-time social picture of hygiene impact on the Bomanhalli community demographics. The idea is to encourage safe hand-washing practices in the region.
Soapy’s technology is designed to benefit the billions of people around the world who lack sufficient access to hygiene or sanitation, and could help reduce the spread of infectious diseases, including respiratory and diarrheal diseases which are leading causes of death in children under five.
It is estimated that approximately 2.4 billion people, mainly in developing countries, don’t have the budget or infrastructure to support widespread sanitation. Further to which, millions of children across the world die from diseases which could have been easily prevented, provided they had access to proper hygiene facilities and safe running water, every year. Hygiene is a fundamental human right. According to the United Nations Sustainable Development goals in India, Goal number 6 focuses on clean water and sanitation. Clean water is critical to survival, and its absence can impact the health, food security, and livelihoods of families across the world.