Sanitation Innovation

Jeff and Priscilla’s sanitation stations. Image-Sowetan

A salon business in Randburg, Giggles and Kurls, decided to face the pandemic and developed a hands-on approach when their business had to close.  Jeff (46), and his wife Priscilla (41), the owners of the salon in Northern Johannesburg, started supplying converted oil drums as hand-washing stations.

The oil drums come with a soap dispenser and plumbing which connect to your existing water source.

“Sometimes it takes a crisis to spur an innovation. When we closed our salon at the beginning of the lockdown, we did not know how we were going to survive. We never thought the lockdown will be extended, instead of sitting down, we had to come up with a solution to help put food on the table,” said Priscilla.

Priscilla said that like everyone else, things were tough when they had to close the business for the lockdown: “We don’t have any income and by the look of things salons will only reopen during level 1. In the meantime, we are not receiving any form of relief.”

“It was our plan to add a washing unit outside our salon for clients to be able to wash their hands even before they open our doors,” she explained.

When the lockdown level 4 began on the 1st of May, they realised that with many businesses opening again, they could supply drums to businesses. “These drums are suitable for school premises, outside clinics, doctor’s consultation rooms, offices, shops, taxi ranks, salons, business and residential areas.

“There is no reason for people to go to bathrooms. Instead, they can place the drums outside their premises and people will wash hands before going inside.”

Priscilla said schools can have one drum outside each classroom. “The same thing can apply to taxi ranks and clinics.”

She explained that they were still working out of their garage, but were hoping to hire more people to help as the business expands: “We understand this is a stressful time for most people as companies are retrenching, with small businesses closing shop. We hope this idea will create jobs for a few people.”

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