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Installing Tippy Taps in Moturiki Schools

By Rachael 3 years ago
Categories Fiji Islands



Installing Tippy Taps in Moturiki Schools

Whilst on project, with GVI Caqalai marine volunteers visit two schools a week on our neighbouring island, Moturiki. This term our lesson plan is Clean, Green and Heathy and during week 4 we focused on handwashing. Having been in Fiji for 11 months and having visited four schools and many villages, I noticed that there wasn’t enough emphasis on this topic. Soap is not provided at toilets, sometimes even on the mainland, so our goal was to make handwashing a habit and teach children how to prevent the spread of germs. While researching this topic, I myself, discovered many shocking facts about how easily germs are spread.

Before I became a staff member, I was a volunteer in the Yasawa Islands where we used “tippy taps”, which is a portable wash station. They are built with simple materials; wood, a fuel can to hold the water and some soap tied to the structure. Very easy indeed. Since the schools taps don’t usually work and don’t provide any soap, I felt tippy taps would be a good option which we could constantly monitor when we visited. We made lesson plans that included a practical session of building the tippy taps with the children and teaching each class how to use the taps.








A sense of excitement was created around school when the children came out of their classrooms and helped build the tippy taps. They were very resourceful finding rocks and wooden braces to support the structure. Then when everyone got to use the tippy taps to wash the dirt off, pushing the foot lever down and seeing the stream of water come out they were amazed. Some of the kids washed their hands four times and at times there were two kids washing their hands at once. So much excitement!

Now both schools have a tippy tap located near the bathrooms and the canteen. The lessons provided the children with the necessary information on when to wash their hands, the importance of using soap and the correct technique – during awareness sessions it was noted most people don’t wash their hands for long enough and miss a lot of the important areas so it was a good lesson for all.

Hopefully the taps will be looked after, restocked when needed and most importantly, used. Judging from the excitement and the impressed looks from the headmasters, I think the tippy taps went down well.

Here is to clean hands!