By Matabeleland North Correspondent
THE Victoria Falls community has come up with a home-made handwashing device called tippy-tap, which has been installed in many public places to encourage residents to sanitise their hands.
The device is proving popular with residents as they fight the spread of COVID-19.
The machine is now popular with tour operators, hoteliers and individuals as regular washing of hands with running water and soap are one of the prescribed precautionary measures encouraged by health officials in stopping the spread of coronavirus.
Creative locals in this resort town have turned to producing the tippy-tap, which is a simple hand washing device where a water container, usually a five-litre bottle, is suspended on a horizontal pole and is tied to a pedal using a string which when tipped by the leg, releases water for one to wash hands.
They are also common in surrounding rural areas where some non-governmental organisations encourage villagers to manufacture and place next to their pit latrine toilets to prevent the spread of cholera and other water-borne diseases.
Some stakeholders adopted the idea in Victoria Falls as a way of ensuring that the public regularly wash hands at public places and you find them in clinics, courts, local prison, vegetable markets, and shopping centres.
Sanitisers are mixed inside the container or either a piece of soap is placed beside the device for people to wash hands.
Wilderness Safaris adopted the idea which was adopted by the Jafuta Foundation who are coordinating the manufacture of the tippy-taps after noticing a shortage of clinical hand sanitisers in shops in the resort town.
Various companies such as Shearwater Adventures, Lorrie’s Lodge, Nguni Lodge, Nemchem, Stanley and Livingstone, Makomwe Hardware and Transport, Elephants Walk, the police, and some individuals have donated towards the project.
Danielle Connolly from Jafuta Foundation said the idea was to ensure every citizen is reminded of sanitising their hands at every place during and post COVID-19.
Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director, Purgie Chimberengwa commended the efforts of the private sector saying it complements government efforts.
“We would want to commend the private sector and other stakeholders for encouraging hand washing using running water and soap or hand sanitisers which are key in primary prevention for COVID-19,” he said.
Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe Victoria Falls chapter chair Arnold Musonza said the tourism industry was committed to seeing the resort town successfully fight the pandemic so as to pave the way for reopening the sector, which has totally closed down due to COVID-19 induced cancellations of trips by travellers, mostly tourists.