Hand-washing in informal settlements possible with simple South African innovation
Photo Cred: Wash Matters

A South African innovation is helping people living in informal settlements access water to wash their hands… we can help place them in every community.


Johannesburg, South Africa (07 May 2020) – Water is life. Yet millions of South Africans don’t have safe or reliable access to it. Due to the central role of hand-washing in slowing the transmission of COVID-19, a small pilot project has been run in an informal settlement north of Johannesburg using a novel innovation manufactured by South African company Envirosan.

This simple hand-washing unit comprises a standard two-litre plastic bottle that is fitted with a self-closing tip tap valve. The bottle is placed into a wall-mounted plastic bracket incorporating a ribbed soap holder and peg to accommodate a face cloth or small towel.

With support from private sector donors and Godfirst Fourways Church’s Heart of a Champion Africa programme, these units were trialled at two Johannesburg informal settlements.

Photo Credit: Vivid Images

Approximately 700 people live in poverty within these communities, relying on communal standpipes and water tanks, often located some distance from their dwellings.

“It was very special to see the way the community organised where the units should be placed and who would have responsibility for keeping the bottles filled and looking after the soap,” said Cliff Musamba who runs the Heart of a Champion programme. “They are deeply appreciative.”

You can help a home with a hand-washing unit for just R65. Each unit costs R65 and includes a bar of soap. Individuals, companies and faith-based organisations are encouraged to assist with the broader rollout by donating in the following ways:


All donations will be managed by the National Business Initiative (NBI) under a separate water emergency fund and will be entitled to a Section 18A tax deduction. The NBI is a registered public benefit organisation (PBO Number: 081-437-NPO) that administers funds on behalf of several programmes.

National Business Initiative
Bank: First National Bank
Branch: Main Street (251705)
Account: 5061 0022 803
Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ
Payment reference: P0551 and Company name

If you would like a Section 18A tax certificate, please email your details and proof of payment to GillianH@nbi.org.za.

Sources: Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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