Jengu handwashing at school Jengu handwashing at school

Clean hands, everywhere

Arup’s crisis hygiene solution joins the fight against Covid-19 
Arup’s crisis hygiene solution joins the fight against Covid-19 

Access to clean water is a pivotal part of many types of emergency response. Without effective sanitation, diseases spread, and relief efforts become harder. The highly transmissible nature of Covid-19 has now made handwashing a daily priority for people in a considerably larger number of settings.

Arup’s Jengu handwashing unit, designed for use in humanitarian crisis settings, is now playing a useful role in contexts never imagined when it was first designed. 

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The Jengu family of handwashing units were originally developed in 2018 by Arup in partnership with the British Red Cross and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Jengu is an open source blueprint for a durable handwashing unit for use in humanitarian emergency settings. It has been designed and tested by Arup’s product designers and behavioural psychologists and since the outbreak of Covid-19, is proving to be useful for other locations where people need to congregate such as schools. 

Uganda Kyangwali Uganda Kyangwali
Jengu at the Kyangwali refugee camp in Uganda. Image credit: Greg Rose.

Jengu is designed to be durable, easy to use and built locally with affordable materials available anywhere in the world, requiring minimal maintenance. Water is supplied via a soft rubber foot pump instead of a tap. This is to prevent people touching a tap, a potential contamination point. The foot pump also means that water can be supplied from a container placed on the ground, making it easy to refill with fresh water. This aspect is particularly useful for locations where there isn’t access to a plumbed water supply and can help ensure handwashing continues to take place wherever people gather. 

Washpoint family Washpoint family
The prototype has been developed in two heights – one for adults and teenagers, and a lower version for smaller children.

Jengu in the community

Together, Arup and Save the Children form part of the Cities 4 Children Global Alliance. Through their global alliance knowledge sharing activities, we collaborated to test Jengu’s effectiveness, deploying 250 Jengu units to promote hygiene awareness and boost hand hygiene in Nairobi’s communities of Kibera and Mathare

Arup worked with Save the Children to set up the local production of Jengu in the communities to support local enterprise and cultivate a sustainable future. On average, 93 people used a Jengu handwashing unit daily, providing approximately 13,500 handwashes with soap each day. Over 100 units were used in eleven public schools, with 95% of people either satisfied or very satisfied with the functionality. Feedback gathered from the community has informed further evolution of the Jengu project. 


We greatly appreciated this collaboration with Arup. Each organisation contributed with some of its greatest strengths. Arup brought exceptional design, engineering and research skills, and Save the Children brought its long-established experience in working with children and their families, community relations and governments. ” Sarah Sabry Global Lead – Urban, Save the Children

Jengu handwashing units being used in Nairobi school Jengu handwashing units being used in Nairobi school

Find out more

If your building or facility needs additional handwashing facilities, consider using Jengu. Contact us today.