Background

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness"
-Traditional English Saying

Throughout the world, millions of people live without access to running-water. Alongside the issues of access to drinking water, proper toilets and sanitation, the need for hand-washing facilities in the parts of the world without an industrial infrastructure is huge.

While having clean-hands may seem a low priority among all of the problems in the world, nothing could be further from the truth. Clean hands are essential for good sanitation. They are indispensible for primary healthcare and basic surgery. Clean hands stop diseases from spreading. Clean hands are the first necessary step to a clean home, a clean family, and a clean life. Our hands are the most intimate contact our bodies have with the world around us. We use our hands to greet our friends, to pick-up our children, to love our partner, and to maintain ourselves. Our hands cook the food we eat, do the work that we are paid for, and touch everything we posess and own.

Everybody in the world has experienced the frustration of having dirty hands and not finding a place to wash them: for too many people that feeling follows them arround every-day. In this world we are failing year after year to replicate the mass industrial solutions to the need for handwashing. The immense system of pumps, pipes, and drains we use wastes terrifying amounts of water, and demands huge amounts of energy to set-up and maintain.

The world needs a solution. Every-one of that billion of people without a place to wash their hands should be able to have one today. It should be something they would like and would be able to build and maintain themselves. Something they do not depend on governments, foreign donors, or educated elites to get.Something that uses very little water as water is often scarce and costly in such conditions.

Summing up why washing hands makes so big a difference to your health:

  • Up to 1 million deaths to diarrhoeal diseas could be prevented each year by adequate handwashing.
  • Clean hands are required for safe food preparation.
  • Washing your hands before treating injuries or illnesses prevents the spread of infection

The comfort and hygiene of washing hands has to be brought into every home, school. clinic and working space at short notice. This is possible with the Hy2U, that little container with a very pracical self closing tap. Because of this tap, it uses extremely little water. It can be made by any handy person at little cost. Therefore making and using the Hy2U could be introduced as a educational program, that can be adopted by small and large organizations working in the field of health and development.

Washing hands the has the potential to reduce child mortality under 5 years. with 1 million per year. The Hy2U could make this possible.

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Poverty is lack of resources, not lack of drive or intelligence. It is lack of opportunities to improve the quality of life.

Thus adding a new resource and offering a new opportunity to people living in poverty is one step into the right direction.

This is what the Hy2U-campaign for washing hands tries to do. Here you find a summary of the ideas behind the device itself: the technology used in its design.

"Technology within Poverty" in its low-quality manifestation is how slum dwellings are constructed from cardboard and sticks and in its high quality manifestation in the beauty and refinement of many handycrafts and arts. Technology within Poverty has its origin in everybody's learning of the best way of making use of still existing opportunities and available materials. And not to forget information, the stories behind all that comes into being.

Appropriate Technology claims that a new story can be dreamed, developed and come into being as a realalistic option within Poverty. The "Hygiene to you"-device for washing hands is the story that is based on the dream that comfort can be offered, that niceness can be had and that, in its wake, hygiene can be promoted with the means that are available NOW and EVERYWHERE within poverty.

The stories and illustrations that are to be found in this website about the Hy2U prove beyond any doubt that indeed it is made possible, thanks to a new design, to provide washing hands to every home, school or clinic. The design is the story about where to pick up and then how to work that bit of wood, plastic, cloth or rubber that can always be found along the road or in rubish. And then to get as result a device of a quality that reflects people's commitment to make use of this new opportunity.

As commitment depends on hope on achievement, this story about the Hy2U has to be told very well and also better and better all the time.

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