Social services


Zen and the art of hand maintenance

26 November 2002

The World Bank-Netherlands Water Partnership has launched the ‘handwashing initiative’, a public-private partnership to promote the use of soap to reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases in poor communities. The initiative is being launched simultaneously in Kerala and Ghana. Dr Sudhirendar Sharma, a water expert at the Delhi-based Ecological Foundation, asks “why preach handwashing when people in Kerala are culturally conscious about cleanliness and hygiene? Choosing a state that has the lowest incidence of childhood diarrhoea would mean that the project is more about selling soap than ‘saving lives’.”