Tippy tap transforms Zakiya's family

Low cost improvements make a huge difference in the health of her children

Aaliyah Madyun
Zakiya in front of her home
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
14 August 2019

Zakiya lives in El Fasher town in North Darfur with her husband and eight children. Six months ago, as part of the Urban Water for  Darfur Project, Zakiya installed a new latrine in her home and a tippy tap, a simple device for hands free hand washing. 

The Urban Water for Darfur Project  aims to attain sustainable and more equitable access to water supply, improved sanitation services and hygiene behaviour for an estimated 400,000 marginalized, vulnerable and disadvantaged populations in the urban and outlying areas, normally not reached by government services, as well as internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in IDP settlements.

As part of the project, community health promoters educate people on healthy sanitation practices and how to implement low-cost sanitation improvements in their homes. Zakiya's neighborhood is now open defecation free and many of her neighbors have invested in low cost sanitation improvements themselves.


Family in front of home in North Darfur
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Zakiya and her husband Awadallah Suleiman stand in front of their home in the Al Amal neighborhood of El Fasher town with Munirah, a UNICEF health promoter. Health promoters go out into the community to educate families on healthy sanitation practices and help them to make low cost improvements to their homes.
Woman uses a tippy tap
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
A tippy tap is a simple hands free hand washing device that prevents bacteria from spreading from one user to the next. The tippy tap is made with low cost salvaged materials and only uses 40 ml of water. There is also no waste - water from the tippy tap goes back into the ground or to water nearby plants.
Girl using tippy tap
Zakiya's 9-year-old daughter uses the tippy tap. Munirah said that many children in the neighborhood asked their parents to install tippy taps after using one in their friends homes.
Mother with daughter
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Zakiya said that before her children suffered from frequent bouts of diarrhoea, but since improving her latrine and installing the tippy tap they have not been ill.
Young boy holding his mother's hand
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Zakiya's youngest son. "Wallahi, mashallah, they haven't been sick. I am so happy that their health is improving," said Zakiyah.
Mother smiling in North Darfur
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Zakiya's neighborhood, El Amal, means hope in Arabic. Out of the 122 neighborhoods in El Fasher town 115 are open defecation free thanks to the interventions of the Urban Water for Darfur Project which is generously supported by DFID UK. The hope is that El Fasher will be completely open defecation free and all families there will have adapted healthy sanitation practices.