The Story


Taban’s little daughter Suzie is has terrible diarrhoea, but will he wash his hands after he’s looked after her? Germs, what germs….


The happy village we see has an enemy. Several children have died of late – people think they are cursed, but they’re not. The enemy is in Taban’s bucket of water, and on his hands. Taban doesn’t believe this and fills a cup to give to his thirsty daughter. Germs – what germs! There’s nothing in that water.

The next day, Suzie is sick. She has diarrhoea, and not for the first time. Taban holds her over a nearby water source to defecate a source that others drink from. “It’s baby poop – it can’t hurt anyone!” he says.

The next time Suzie needs to go, Juma’s dog noses open the latrine door and in they rush. But when Juma offers them soap as they exit, Taban refuses. He shows Juma his hands. “There’s nothing there! SEE!”

We do see, in close-up. Through the magic of film, germs are magnified on Taban’s hands, and they’re cheering!

Later, as Taban has supper with his family, he scoops up food with his unwashed hands and passes it around. Juma warns that he’s spreading disease, but Taban is adamant: “THERE ARE NO GERMS ON THIS FOOD!” The germs, in close-up and now all over the food, are even more delighted. Another body to infect!

Sara, Taban’s wife Sera, is concerned, however, and asks Juma to explain. We see a flash-back to what happened earlier.

Taban comes out of the latrine with Suzie with their hands glowing a sickly green, indicating the germs that transferred from Suzie’s diarrhoea. Because Taban doesn’t wash them, the germs are still on his hands as he picks up food at the start of supper – and the green glow passes onto that food. He puts the food on his son Boboia’s plate, which Boboia picks up and is about to put in his mouth when Sara shouts:

“STOP! How can we stop it?”

“Easy,” Juma responds. “By washing your hands.”

Music begins and the characters sing the Time to Wash song. The germs, we see, are horrified – but fortunately for them, stubborn Taban continues to eat his food with his dirty hands. The green glow goes right into his mouth.

The next day, unsurprisingly, Taban is sick and rushes into the bushes by his house to defecate urgently. He should use the latrine or everyone will get sick, he is told.

Suzie is still very ill – Sera takes her to the health facility because diarrhoea is especially dangerous for young children. Juma mixes some rehydration salts with treated water to give to Suzie to keep her hydrated until they get there.

A few days later, Taban and Suzie are well again, thank goodness, having both been to the health facility. Taban has learnt his lesson. No nasty germs will get this family again, not with him around!