Young social entrepreneurs making waves with water-saving manual washing machine in IDP camps in Iraq

In March 2019, Navjot Sawhney and Alex Hughes, both engineers and co-founders of the fledgling social enterprise The Washing Machine Project conducted research into clothes-washing habits across four IDP camps in Northern Iraq. Only 40% of IDPs living in the camps had access to an electric washing machine, meaning the majority of families still wash their clothes by hand.Having access to a washing machine can free up time for women and girls to pursue other activities such as education, which is a key aim of The Washing Machine Project. To help achieve this goal, Sawhney and Hughes have developed an innovative, portable, manual washing machine that also uses less water per cycle (only 10 litres as opposed to the 30 litres used by the average electric washing machine) which is crucial in water scarce humanitarian settings.