Jengu is an open source blueprint for a desirable and durable handwashing unit for humanitarian and development settings that has been designed and tested by engineers, humanitarians, behavioural psychologists and people living in refugee camps.

Rather than focusing solely on keeping initial production costs low, Jengu has been designed to be long-lasting, desirable to use and built locally with affordable materials available anywhere in the world.

Jengu looks like an attractive handwashing basin, with a familiar and comfortable set-up, built with a robust, long-lasting steel design that requires minimal maintenance. However, the unit contains a number of innovative design features that increase the frequency and length of time people will spend washing their hands:

In the diagram below you can learn about all the Jengu features. For more detail, materials and drawings of the design of the Jengu click here.

You can also see how Jengu has been used across the world and see where it can be manufactured locally.

If you want to work with the Jengu team to deliver units to those who need safe handwashing most click here.


Click on the dots to view more information

The Mirror

A large and robust mirror that won’t peel, flake off or crack. It increases face and eye hygiene and makes people want to spend more time at washing their hands.

Liquid soap

Liquid soap is easy to produce and buy locally and is likely to make handwashing more desirable. Two liquid soap options are provided to reduce the risk of theft:
• Bottle dispenser with wire cable.
• Pump dispenser

The faucet

Shaped for handwashing and difficult to use for other purposes (e.g. filling up water containers).

Optional Bar soap

Can be drilled and secured with a wire cable so soap is always available (metal cable and clamp provided)

Water flow

Provides enough water flow for effective handwashing without wasting water.

Anti-theft assembly

Unit parts are pop riveted together, to deter theft of parts.

The basin

The basin can be plastic or stainless-steel to suit local preferences and availability.

Compact and stackable

Jengu is a compact unit (just 72x77cm) and is stackable for easy transportation and storage

Robust, sustainable and reusable

Most of the unit parts are made from stainless or galvanised steel, making it long lasting and rust- proof. The design reduces the use of plastic and promotes the use of local materials. It could also be reused in household.

Unit height

The basin height can be adapted for adults, children and people of reduced mobility.


A drain in the basin takes wastewater to a hose so it can be connected into the nearest gully or into a soak pit. (Or re-used as “grey-water” if appropriate)


Disc feet give the facility stability on any surface and prevent it from sinking into soft ground.


To reduce the risk of theft, a series of holes enables the units to be anchored to the ground or connected together.

The foot-pump

Reduces the likelihood of hand re-contamination and the soft rubber texture is usable with or without shoes and by all ages.

Water Supply

Unlike traditional units, Jengu is not gravity fed so is simple to install and more stable. It can work off jerry cans or larger water supply containers.