Mobile hand-wash facilities for slum dwellers in Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh government has set up mobile hand-wash facilities for the slum dwellers in the state to promote basic hygiene in light of the spread of COVID-19.

About the Initiative

The Andhra Pradesh government has set up mobile hand wash facilities for slum dwellers to address the issue of access to sanitation in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. A water tanker fitted with 4 tap connections, 4 wash basins and 2 soap dispensers was plied on a vehicle among the slums.

Effect of Soap on the Virus

Currently, washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is considered as one of the best ways to combat the SARS CoV 2 virus. This is because the outer layer of the virus acts as an oil layer and washing with plain water doesn’t neutralize it. The soap helps break the interface between the oil-like viral layer and the water. This results in disintegration of the viral particles and disinfection of the cleaned surface.

Access to Water

In India, the measures to ensure hand hygiene is impeded by the issue of water scarcity. About 4 litres of water may be required for washing hands for 30 to 40 seconds. This would mean that a family of 5 members would require 100 litres per day just for hand washing. There would be a 20 to 25% increase in demand for water as a consequence. This is significant since nearly 160 million people are without access to clean water in India.