Electrocomponents partners with The Washing Machine Project
RS Components Australia’s parent company Electrocomponents has partnered with The Washing Machine Project in a three-year fundraising commitment which will secure development and deployment of off grid washing machines for humanitarian use.
The Washing Machine Project was set up in 2018 by British engineer Nav Sawhney following a sabbatical in South India, where he witnessed women and children enduring many backbreaking hours washing clothes by hand. He discovered that 70% of the world’s population do not have access to an electric washing machine and for many washing clothes in rivers, lakes and buckets is the only solution.
Handwashing clothes is recognised as being a major barrier to education for low-income and displaced people around the world. This repetitive, demanding task, which can take upwards of 20 hours per week, often also leads to chronic back and joint pain.
This experience led Nav to develop a prototype for an affordable off-grid manual crank washing machine, the Divya.
It is the only machine of its kind to be developed for humanitarian purposes and requires no electricity to operate. It uses a flywheel mechanism with drum-in-drum technology and combines washing and spin-dry functionality. Designed to be made from reusable off-the-shelf components and easily maintainable, it can be operated and fixed anywhere, by anyone.
Using the Divya reduces the time spent handwashing clothes by 75% and requires 50% less water. It can handle loads up to 5kg, despite weighing just 12kg.
Following trials last year, 50 Divyas are now in use in the Jeddah 5 refugee camp in Mosul, Federal Iraq. By 2023, the plan is to have at least 7,500 machines available to disadvantaged families and communities in 10 countries, providing relief to around 100,000 people.
The three-year partnership with Electrocomponents will enable the charity to alleviate the burden of washing clothes for thousands of hard-hit families and communities.
“At Electrocomponents we are committed to inspiring a more sustainable world through education and innovative solutions that improve lives,” Electrocomponents chief executive Lindsley Ruth says.
“That’s why we’ve chosen the Washing Machine Project Foundation as our first global charity partner and will mobilise our people, customers and suppliers in support of this fantastic cause.”