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Emmanuel Mashandudze

Business Intelligence, Tools and Process Specialist, Witwatersrand University

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Preventing Cholera in rural Zimbabwe - Use of empty containers as taps outside blair-toilets

I saw something fascinating in rural Zimbabwe, Because of this epidemic disease(Cholera) people have come up with a way of making sure people always have access to clean water to wash hands after using toilets and all around homesteads. In most rural setting in Africa there is no tap water and this comes in handy in the sense that all you need is an empty container with a lid. A hole is drilled on the lid and a string is made to go through it and inside the lid a knot is made. The outside string is about a meter long which is tied to a stick. The water container is suspended about 1 meter from the group and for people to just step on the stick to tilt the water container without touching the container as a result preventing any possible contamination with the water in the container. I thought this could be shared to other areas which share the same problem

Topics: Africa
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  • mary T

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    Apr 7 2013: Hi, Emmanuel, I don't completely understand the question. What is a blair-toilet? Maybe, like what I would know as an outhouse, or outdoor shed with a latrine pit? And how does water get into the container? Is it rain water? But how d0es it get in, if there is a lid? Is there an opening for water to pour out? I would assume that the string itself becomes contaminated, whether by feet or hands or whatever. Anyway, sorry I don't understand. It's interesting, and I can kind of visualize it, but not sure. Best wishes, Mary
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      Apr 7 2013: The problem is there is no way I can upload a sketch of how this works. The Blair-Toilet is similar to an outside pit latrine like you say. In most of theses places water is from streams and wells. In developed areas it will be from boreholes. For the water to get in obviously the lid is removed and its a manual refill

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