Splash International

Manufacturing hand-washing stations for schools in Africa and India

Health & Wellness

Splash International

The Challenge

Founded in 2007, Splash International has pioneered solutions in water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH), and menstrual health for children in some of the world’s largest low-resource cities. Early on, Splash began developing their own hand washing and drinking water stations that were durable, child-appropriate, and promoted positive hand washing and drinking behaviors. In 2018, Splash improved their design concept for drinking water and hand washing stations for schools, but they needed support taking the concepts through to manufacturing. Specifically, they wanted support creating manufacturable designs, finalizing the materials to use, and identifying a local manufacturing partner.

The Opportunity

As we reviewed the designs and use cases, we identified potential issues with the durability of those stations that would be used by children, and would therefore be subjected to significant wear and tear. To improve their durability, we changed the way the stations would be built. This new process allowed us to leverage more sustainable materials.

The Solution

We pivoted the manufacturing method to rotational molding which enabled us to use LLDPE, a durable and environmentally-neutral plastic that is easy to clean, and provides more design flexibility to incorporate usability improvements.  An additional benefit of rotational molding is that there is a reasonable amount of capacity for this type of manufacturing at good quality in low- and middle-income country settings.

/ Understanding the use cases

We worked closely with the Splash Social Enterprises team to understand their needs and the constraints of the stations. Splash had already produced limited prototype stations so they were able to gather data on how they were being used and how the stations could be improved.


Number of washing stations installed in schools in Ethiopia and India.

/ Improving the Usability

As we designed the drinking and hand washing stations for schools, we knew we needed to consider the full hand washing experience, the height difference for younger and older students, and the temptation to play on the stations. Based on these understandings we made the following improvements:

– We added soap holders, which are both functional and serve as a visual reminder that soap should be available for hand washing.

– We integrated the ability to adjust the height of the sink to serve users from kindergarten to secondary school.

– We mounted holes for easy installation directly into hard surfaces.

/ Improving the Manufacturing Process

The stations needed to be manufactured as efficiently as possible without sacrificing functionality. We achieved these improvements by using rotational molding and LLDPE plastic. Additionally, Propelland supported Splash to identify a local manufacturing partner based in Bangalore, India who had a strong understanding of the rotational molding process and local capacity.


The Splash team has installed over 2,100 hand washing and drinking water stations in schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Kolkata, India, reaching over 225,000 children and school staff. In 2021, they will begin selling stations to third-parties as tools to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene outcomes.


Learn more here