Skip to main content

Gravit`eau Handwashing System

Handwashing system recycling water for emergencies.

In many refugee camps, hospitals and schools in developing countries, drinking water is not available next to toilets or close to cooking and eating places. The taps are broken or do not exist, water tanks are empty. Or drinking water is scarce and people do not want to "waste" it for handwashing. But dirty hands means spreading sickness, including cholera and typhus, especially in such critical places like hospitals and refugee camps during humanitarian emergencies.

We develop autonomous and easy to use systems to recycle water for handwashing using gravity only. The system is filled once. Water is used for handwashing and is treated using membrane filtration removing pathogenic microorganisms. Users operate a smile manual foot pump to bring the treated water back to the tap. Refilling is required once a month only, minimizing the time required for maintenance of the systems. Gravit`eau handwashing system helps to provide source of water for handwashing only and spare drinking water for drinking, especially important during emergencies in water scarce areas.

IEC and IIG FHNW, Terre des hommes, Cesvi, Eawag and Gravit`eau Association collaborate together for further development and evaluation of the system. The field tests of the systems are conducted in child friendly spaces in a refugee camp in the North of Nigeria by Terre des homes and in health centers in communities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by Cesvi.


Key Figures

    Project duration: 2018 - 2019
    Funding agencies:
    • Terre des hommes
    • Swiss Solidarity
    • Unicef
    • Cesvi
    • Gravit`eau

    Institute for Ecopreneurship

    FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland School of Life Sciences, Institute for Ecopreneurship Hofackerstrasse 30 CH - 4132 Muttenz
    More information about the location
    Share this page: