hands4health at the 42nd WEDC

The 42nd WEDC International Conference was held online from 13-15 September, 2021, focusing on the theme of “Equitable and Sustainable WASH Services: Future challenges in a rapidly changing world”. Organised by the Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) of the Loughborough University, the event comprised multiple sessions, one of them featuring the hands4health consortium.

The Handwashing in Emergencies session, co-convened by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Gravit’eau, Wash’Em, the Humanitarian Innovation Fund – elrha, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Covid-19 HygieneHub, RANAS and Terre des hommes, discussed the experiences and challenges of ensuring handwashing in emergencies.

The session reviewed current and introduced innovative approaches to handwashing, and enabled the sharing of experiences from the field. Comprising short live presentations followed by open discussions and interactive breakout room exchanges, the event:

  • Reviewed different handwashing systems, technologies and approaches used in emergencies by different organisations, including major gaps and limitations;
  • Shared experiences of the Humanitarian Innovation Fund in supporting innovations for handwashing;
  • Discussed innovative water-saving handwashing systems and technologies, as well as innovations around soap;
  • Shared experiences from the use of Gravit’eau handwashing systems in camps in northern Nigeria;
  • Introduced the RANAS approach to behaviour change;
  • Discussed the experiences in applying the RANAS approach for handwashing and opportunities for adapting it to handwashing in emergencies; and
  • Shared experiences and discussed opportunities for handwashing during the COVID response.

More info

Check out the other sessions and proceedings of the 42nd WEDC International Conference here.