Kwarteng, a leather shoemaker now making solar-powered hand-washing basin in Ghana
Published on: May 10, 2020 01:30 (EAT)
On the morning of March 30 after government officials issued a two-week lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19 in Ghana, a leather shoemaker based in the Ashanti region’s capital city, Kumasi, stared at a recycled barrel and conceived an idea. “My brother (Jude Osei) and I decided we would create a basin to encourage regular hand-washing etiquette,” Richard Kwarteng, 32, told CNN. They created a solar-powered hand-washing basin. In one of the first of its kind in the country, they wanted the device to be solar-powered and timed with a sensor, in accordance with the 20-second hand-washing guidance issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Getting suppliesThey had less than 48 hours to gather supplies before the lockdown took effect. Without hesitation, they headed to a local market for supplies. On the shopping list: a sink, a faucet, a motherboard, a solar panel, a sensor, and an alarm. When they got home, Kwarteng called a friend and electrician, Amkwaah Boakye, to handle the wiring before the brothers programmed the device to release soapy water when hands or other items came in contact with a sensor stored underneath the faucet. After 25 seconds, an alarm goes off indicating hand-washing is complete, then water is released to rinse hands before drying. The team began and finished the project in five days.
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