The hand-washing equipment is hands-free— it can be operated without using hands— and the waste water can be disposed of without being exposed.
Observers have welcomed the innovation as a suitable tool for children who generally are more prone to the recontamination associated with the use of ordinary hand-washing vessels than adults.
“This is a hands-free hand-washing facility. You are not required to use your hands to turn on the tap for water to flow for you to wash and, afterwards, you turn it off. You don’t need a hand to do that because that can result in recontamination. It has a pedal where you just use your leg to tap on it and water flows for you to wash. So, it takes away that element of recontamination, because if your hand is contaminated and you touch the tap, and you finish washing and you don’t rinse the tap very well and you try to close the tap, you would contaminate your hand again.
“It is easy to use. You just put your foot on the pedal and water flows. When adults wash their hands with the veronica bucket, they would be conscious to rinse the tap when they are done. But children are likely not to have that consciousness. Once they just wash, they don’t rinse the tap. They just turn it off and they are gone. So, they are more prone to recontamination. But with this, they just need to tap the pedal with their feet; they don’t interact with the tap,” explained the World Vision Ghana’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project Officer, Charles Waawula.
The donated items— which include 50 gallons of liquid soap, 80 packets of nose masks, 48 packets of surgical gloves, 11 thermometer guns, 50 hand-washing tools and 264 bottles of hand sanitiser worth 8,431 United States dollars (Gh¢48,857.64)— were presented to health facilities, decentralised units, traditional palaces, market squares, churches, mosques and abattoirs among others.
“It has more or less like a suck-away [pit]. The waste water doesn’t collect in a basin like in the veronica bucket where the water collects and, when it is full, you pick it and throw the water away. This one, once you are washing, the water is channeled directly through a tube into a suck-away [pit]. For the suck-away, you just dig a pit, find some chippings or fine stones and cover it. The equipment also has a compartment where you can put your waste bin for used tissues,” added the organisation’s WASH Project Officer.
We’ll sustain the fight against COVID-19— World Vision Ghana
Presenting the items, the World Vision Ghana’s Cluster Programmes Manager, Robert Pwazaga, spoke of the readiness of the humanitarian organisation to sustain its fight against COVID-19.
“Through the support of donors, World Vision is having the second consignment of PPE to donate to facilities in the Kassena-Nankana West District to help fight the pandemic. The hand-washing equipment is a special type. We are trying to avoid contact of the user with the facility to prevent contamination at any given time.
“I want to use this opportunity to also encourage all, through the media, to continue to abide by all [COVID-19 safety] rules as World Vision remains committed to the fight against COVID-19 in Ghana. We will also do a similar presentation of these items in the Builsa South District and we will continue to call on all partners to support the fight so that in the end we will eradicate this virus in Ghana and the world at large,” said the Programmes Manager.
A Development Planning Officer, Tahiru Mohammed Salifu, received the items on behalf of the Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly at the donation ceremony held at Pomolgo-Sirigu. The presentation comes 12 weeks after the humanitarian organisation, which currently operates in three districts within the Upper East Region— Talensi, Kassena-Nankana West and Builsa South— distributed some PPE worth 3,000 United States dollars (Gh¢17,385.00) in the Talensi District.
By Edward Adeti, Upper East Region, Daily Mail GH