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Driving Access to Handwashing in Africa with the SATO Tap

October 16, 2023

By Samuel Langat, Leader, Africa, SATO

In a world where basic hygiene should be universal, it’s astounding to think that, according to WaterAid, one out of five individuals do not or are unable to wash their hands after using a toilet.[1] Even more startling is the fact that, according to research by WHO and UNICEF, one in every four people, or 2.3 billion people, still lack access to the basic hygiene facilities needed for a healthier lifestyle, like water or soap.[2]

As we mark Global Handwashing Day this month, we are helping tackle the issue by launching the SATO Tap, our award-winning, affordable hand hygiene solution, in Kenya and Nigeria.

Kenya and Nigeria play an important role in driving innovation across the continent. Yet, while these countries have produced exciting new business, technology that accelerates financial inclusion, access to hygiene is still limited. In the two countries alone, according to UNICEF, more than 45 million households lack access to basic handwashing facilities at home, leaving families and communities at risk of infectious diseases.

Our SATO Tap is a portable and simple-to-use product that brings handwashing to families without requiring running water. Its accessible design eliminates the need for installation, allowing users to wash their hands wherever needed, while distributing just enough water for an effective hand wash, requiring as little as 100ml of water per wash. Its design enables for the use a single-use plastic bottle, typically found in most households, giving new life to an object that would otherwise end up in landfill. Meanwhile, its hands-free design, activated with a simple nudge of the forearm or elbow, minimises interaction in shared households and communities, preventing the spread of life-threatening illnesses and diseases.

Ease of use was central to the tap’s design, resulting in everyone, from children to the elderly, having access to proper hygiene. Reflecting this, the SATO Tap has earned recognition from across the world, including being named one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2020 and a finalist in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards 2021.

The journey of the SATO Tap from its first prototype to commercial success is an inspiring story of progress and impact. We’ve used the feedback and experience from its launch in India, Tanzania, Bangladesh and the Philippines to showcase how effective the product could be in tackling issues around hand-hygiene.

To raise awareness of our life-changing product, we constantly look for exciting new ways to engage our customers. Earlier this year, we experimented with the use of local influencers to do just that. In Tanzania, we ran a campaign alongside the popular Tanzanian DJ MC Gara B, showcasing the positive effects of good hand-hygiene and the benefits of the SATO Tap. The campaign was launched across our social media channels and saw incredibly strong levels of engagement with consumers, due to MC Gara B’s familiarity and his ability to communicate with consumers in their own dialects, while the campaign targeted an audience which may otherwise have been unfamiliar with our products.

Now, as we turn our attention to Kenya and Nigeria, we will look to launch similar campaigns alongside micro-influencers in both markets, building awareness and excitement for our products among new audiences. Similarly, we will also look to work alongside our partners to continue spreading access to hygiene solutions to the millions of households without running water. Our SATO Tap, which can be installed in schools, hospitals, businesses, places of worship, and directly into people’s homes, is building pride in positive hand-hygiene by changing lives for the better, unleashing unmeasured social potential in the process.

We know that the SATO Tap is more than simply a life-changing product; it is a commitment to tackling the global issue of inadequate access to handwashing facilities. Its unique design and affordable costs are increasing accessibility to handwashing in homes and communities around the world and continue to make an impact.

The journey of the SATO Tap so far demonstrates the power of collaboration and creativity in addressing global health concerns, and in doing so has demonstrated that clean hands are within reach for everybody, everywhere.


[1] Water Aid, Globally, 4 out of 5 people do not wash hands after going to the toilet (2018)

[2] UNICEF, Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, 2000-2020: Five years into the SDGs (2021)


Category: Community Forum

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