By Monte Achenbach, Chief of Party, USAID Transform WASH
Salifou Compaore, Chief of Party, USAID Sanitation Service Delivery
Bernard Elegbe, Director of Child Survival and Sanitation Hygiene, Association Béninoise pour le Marketing Social (ABMS)
Ayatam Simeneh, Partnership and Communication Advisor, PSI Ethiopia
Soap and clean water are the first line of defense against COVID-19, yet many people lack access to a place to wash their hands.
Before the pandemic, PSI’s network members in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia were working with entrepreneurs to make handwashing solutions more accessible to consumers, by facilitating local manufacturing and distribution of handwashing devices and stations. Since the start of the pandemic, our teams in all three countries have ramped up production by identifying more local private sector actors, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and distributors. All are working to increase access to handwashing products for both consumers and institutions.
Benin and Cote d’Ivoire
In Benin and Cote d’Ivoire, only 11% and 19% of households have a basic handwashing facility in their home, respectively (WHO 2017). These numbers demonstrate the challenges that exist with practicing the handwashing behaviors recommended by the WHO. In response to this challenge, PSI, with the support of the USAID-funded Sanitation Delivery Service (SSD) program, is using a market-based approach to set up networks of entrepreneurs to increase the supply and installation of handwashing facilities.
These entrepreneurs have been trained by PSI to manufacture handwashing devices and stations locally, using tools and supplies that are affordable and readily available. The result: basic, but desirable handwashing products are now available in the market. Below you will find a Bill of Quantities, images, and information for the local production of two generations of handwashing stations that have been designed in partnership with local entrepreneurs.
Generation One Handwashing Stations
Generation One handwashing stations, installed.
These stations were designed and sold with toilet products offered by SSD-supported entrepreneurs both before and during COVID-19. They are designed to be attached directly to the toilet cabin, walls, or even a tree. This is an easy option for a household to add to key areas around the home, for example by the kitchen or the bathroom—where a nudge to wash your hands is in order.
Bill of Quantities – includes 25% margin for entrepreneur
|Material||No. Of Units||Unit Price (CFA)||Total Price CFA)|
|Bucket (approx. 10 L)||1||500||500|
|Total Price||6500 CFA / 12 USD|
A sample of materials.
A visual installation guide for Generation One handwashing stations.
Generation Two Handwashing Stations
These stations have been more recently designed for the COVID-19 response, to provide a more durable option for households, workplaces, and institutions (like schools and healthcare centers). Comprised of a plastic tank that comes in varying sizes, this model is simply constructed with a tap, and then placed securely on a long wooden stool. A plastic sieve-like cover over a plastic basin then collects the wastewater. The basin is securely positioned on a wooden shelf, which is firmly attached to the seat of the stool.
There is also an option to create a foot pedal operated/hands free model of this product.
Bill of Quantities – includes 25% margin for entrepreneur
No. Of Units
Unit Price CFA
Total Price CFA
Bucket (approx. 25 L)
Plastic Basin w/ Cover
Wood Stool w/ Shelf
13000 CFA / 25 USD
A sample of tools required for manufacturing Generation Two handwashing stations.
As you can see from the above two Bills of Quantities, the costs of these facilities range from around 12USD to 25USD depending on the product and the materials used. For example, it’s possible to use different faucets to lower the cost of the product. Making products with recycled materials can also reduce the cost. Recently Ismaël and other sanitation entrepreneurs have seen a surge in orders from landlords, households, and offices throughout Benin and Côte d’Ivoire.
Thanks to the creativity and resourcefulness of Ismaël and other entrepreneurs, more than 150 stand-alone handwashing devices were made and sold within a month’s time in Benin alone, in addition to those sold with toilets. This number is expected to grow as more entrepreneurs adapt the technology—and as social behavior change communications and other demand generation activities increase. Other innovative ideas for further addressing the hand hygiene challenge include potentially starting the local manufacturing of hand sanitizers, like what PSI’s affiliate, Total Family Health Organization, did in Ghana.
Roughly 42 million Ethiopians lack access to a clean handwashing facility, and another 54 million have limited services, such as no soap or water on their premises (JMP 2017). PSI Ethiopia has been collaborating with the Government of Ethiopia and private sector partners to address this challenge—even as varying social distancing regulations complicate operations.
Due to the presence of national handwashing product manufacturers, Ethiopia is taking a slightly different approach than Benin and Côte D’Ivoire—by directly supporting Excel Plastics, an Addis Ababa-based manufacturer already producing handwashing products in small quantities; they have since increased production.
Excel Plastics offers a range of products that appeal to local design desires, that come in varying sizes to accommodate a smaller or larger water capacity, as well as a plastic faucet. Households usually provide their own stands, making this design adaptable to almost any space. The price for water containers ranges from 0.85USD to 8.92USD depending on their size. The faucets are sold at a set price of 1.46USD, which brings the total average price for customers to around 5.00USD.
Challenges do exist with production capacity and distribution channels, and PSI Ethiopia is working to develop the market in order to improve the handwashing supply chain. This work has been documented in more detail in this blog post.
PSI is committed to collaborating with partners from government, civil society, and the private sector to ensure WASH products and services can be sustainably increased during these critical times, and into the future.