Effectiveness study of the Jengu Handwashing Unit to increase handwashing with soap among crisis affected populations

Project Period

January 2021 - August 2027

Project Partners

  • The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • The British Red Cross
  • The Kenya Red Cross
  • The Uganda Red Cross

Crisis-affected populations are at a heightened risk of morbidity and mortality associated with diarrhea, respiratory infections and outbreak-related diseases like cholera or Ebola. This burden of disease can be substantially reduced through improved hygiene practices such as handwashing with soap and water. Evidence suggests that one of the strongest determinants of handwashing behaviour is access to a desirable and conveniently located handwashing facility with soap and water present. Improving handwashing facilities in humanitarian crises has the potential to create an enabling environment for handwashing behaviour and change handwashing habits.

The Jengu handwashing facility is the result of a co-creation process involving academia (LSHTM), the private sector (Arup) and a humanitarian organization (British Red Cross). An iterative process of learning and innovation was used which enabled stakeholders and users to directly feed into the design of the unit.

This research aims to assess whether providing crisis-affected populations with increased access to desirable and durable handwashing facilities will lead to increases in handwashing behaviour. The research will build evidence on the acceptability, usability, durability, cost-benefits, maintenance and sustainable local production of the facility. The research will take place in refugee camps and settlements in Kenya and Uganda.