The Assin Bereku Water System of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) is training residents in many rural communities in Ghana on how to build tippy taps in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials say it will boost the washing of hands which has become a very essential practice to combat the disease.
Communication Officer for the Agency, Walter Asante, explains the campaign is to encourage the washing of hands under running water in these rural areas where most often rely on streams but lacks running water.
The initiative is under the “CWSA Covid-19 combating campaign” launched by the Assin Bereku Water System of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) in the Assin North District of the Central Region.
A tippy tap is a hands-free handwashing device made of local materials like a stick, a rope, container and a soap.
It has a foot lever connected to a water container, thereby reducing transmission of pathogens, bacteria or virus.
This traditional handwashing facility is very easy to construct, affordable and ensure there is no contact with the hand after washing (encouraged by health officials).
CWSA is a government of Ghana Agency established by an act of parliament in 1998, Act 564 as part of reforms to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in rural communities and small towns in Ghana.
The current pandemic has revealed the importance of the responsibility of this government agency in especially rural Ghana.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic however, authorities at the CWSA has charged all Water Systems to continuously sensitize their respective communities.
Assin Bereku Water System, one of the twenty (20) Water Systems in the Central Region, has meanwhile stepped up education in the region.
It has collaborated with use the local communication centres, FM stations in addition to spreading posters, fliers and banners across many communities.
Many health centers and hospitals have also received Veronica Buckets from the Agency in the fight against the disease.
Walter Asante added that, “the system have maintained a daily sensitization on local information centers to keep reminding the people of how to protect themselves.”
The campaign launch
The “CWSA Covid-19 Combating Campaign” spearheaded by officials of the Assin Bereku Water System was launched in the Central Region.
The aim of the campaign is to get people in the Bereku and surrounding communities to get or construct a handwashing facility particularly tippy tap in their homes and neighbourhoods.
To start, the Water System led by Technician Engineer at Assin Bereku, Akrong Edem, constructed ten tippy taps behind ten public standpipes in the District Capital, Assin Bereku, for demonstration.
This made it easier for many community folks to learn how to construct the simple water dispenser.
District Chief Executive of Assin North, Charles Ohene Andoh, who launched it said the move is commendable will augment government’s effort to assist the people of Ghana to adhere to the safety protocols.
“A number of veronica buckets and sanitizers have been supplied by himself and the honorable Member of Parliament (Abena Drowah Mensah) in a quest to curtail the Pandemic”.
He furthermore advised all to practice social distancing and be careful about people coming into the district from the cities (Accra, and Kumasi).
Nana Tufuhene of Assin Bereku, Nana Frimpong Baah, applauded the CWSA for such a good course.
“Though the virus has come to stay with us for now, it certainly won’t wipe out the whole of humanity. It will definitely destroy us however if care is not taken. It is good you have started this initiative”.
He promised to encourage his subjects to actively participate in the campaign and thanked the Government and CWSA for providing free water.
System Manager at Assin Bereku Water System, Evans Nana Boakye, advised the people to support each other to construct the Tippy Taps.
“With the Tippy Tap, there is no excuse to not washing hands regularly coupled with the Governments Social Intervention of making Portable Water free and accessible to all for the months of April, May, and June.”
The reward system
To continuously encourage rural communities to build the Tippy Tap and wash their hands regularly, the Covid-19 Combating Campaign has instituted a reward system.
It is ensure that residents in the various communities adhere to the hand-washing protocols.
Participants are expected to construct a Tippy Tap, from the education by the team from the Water Systems.
One would have to after constructing the Tippy Tap, take a picture of him or her washing his or her hands under it, and send it to the system team through whatsapp number +233 54 136 2447.
A day after the Launch of the campaign, 20 households constructed Tippy Tap to join the campaign.
A draw is scheduled for the fifteenth (15th) day of every month to reward participants, which Mobile producing company, Itel, is supporting with souvenirs.
Meanwhile, Community Relations Officer, Walter Asante, bemoans the absence of information van to facilitate their work to intensify the campaign.
“If only we had an information van, the system could do more to contribute our quota to the fight against Covid-19. Hand washing is a great weapon against Covid-19”.