The Bamboo Tippy Tap, a Vanuatu innovation that improves children's health

The Bamboo Tippy Tap, a Vanuatu innovation that improves children's health
Innovation in southwest Tanna, Vanuatu is helping children and the community stay healthy and be environmentally sustainable. 

Many areas in Vanuatu face water shortages which meant children were getting sick. As a response, World Vision implemented a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene project in the region supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme.

World Vision worked with the community to build water systems and toilets. To promote good hygiene practices tippy taps, plastic bottles filled with water attached to a piece of string, were introduced and placed near the toilets. Having tippy taps and soap near toilets makes it easier for people to wash their hands after using the toilet.  

Tom, Vanuatu local and father of two, wanted to make a tippy tap for his family but when he didn’t have any plastic bottles to make a traditional tippy tap, he decided to try something new. 

“I remembered my grandfather used to fetch water with bamboo when I was a little boy, so I decided to create a tippy tap using bamboo for my children to wash their hands”, Tom says.

Not only are bamboo tippy taps helping keep children healthy, they are reducing the use of plastic and encouraging the community to use natural and sustainable materials that are better for the environment. 
Tom was inspired by his grandfather using bamboo to fetch water when he was a little boy and he came up with this innovation.

The positive impact of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene project is seen throughout the community. One community chief shares, “World Vision taught us how to plant and eat nutritious food, installed water supply systems, helped us build toilets, introduced tippy taps for good hygiene, and we invented this bamboo tippy tap. You can see everyone washing their hands – it’s becoming a routine, particularly with children, and it’s something they will keep doing for the rest of their lives and pass on to their children.”