Man in Ghana invents a solar-powered, no-touch handwash station to help fight COVID-19

A 32-year-old man from the African nation of Ghana has invented a solar-powered touch-free handwashing station. 

Richard Kwarteng has come up with an incredibly efficient solution to maintaining basic hygiene practices such as handwashing in places where access to water is limited. The 32-year-old’s invention is exactly what such locations need to contain conserve water and simultaneously ensure hygiene. When Richard first shared a video of his device online, it went viral in no time, as CNN reveals.

The idea of the innovative solar-powered device camo to Richard’s mind in an unusual way. The leather shoemaker who lives in the Ashanti region’s capital city, Kumasi, was simply staring at a recycling barrel, UP Worthy reports. He shares:

“My brother (Jude Osei) and I decided we would create a basin to encourage regular hand-washing etiquette.”

Richard and his brother developed the ingenious solar-powered hand-washing basin. Their invention is one of the first of its kind in Ghana. 

The touch-free handwashing device encourages locals to follow basic hygiene practices set by both the World Health Organization as well as the United States Centers for Disease Control.

Richard’s solar-powered handwash station is equipped with a sensor and a timer. First, the basin dispenses soapy water. Then, it beeps for 25 seconds – the time needed for someone to wash their hands to kill the virus. After that, the basin dispenses just enough water to rinse your hands off. In only one ‘charge’, the device can help 150 people to wash their hands.

The efficient invention was developed just as Ghana went into a national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. In less than two days Richard and his team gathered enough scrap materials, so they could build the handwashing machine. They have also purchased a sink, a faucet, a motherboard, a solar panel, a sensor, and an alarm from the local market.

The ‘Solar Wash’, as they named the invention, was built in only 5 days!

It took only four days for the inventive solar-powered sink to certified by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA). Shortly after, it was made available for commercial use.

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🕵🏾‍♀️ – #GOoDNewsReport | June 8, 2020. _ #GNRWorldwide – In less than 48 hours, 32-year old shoemaker Richard Kwarteng built a solar-powered hand-washing basin by converting an old recycled metal barrel to encourage sanitation habits amid Covid-19 in his local community. The Solar Wash machine is powered by a sensor which allows an individual to wash their hands without touching the tap. The liquid soap comes out from the tap first so the individual can wash their hands thoroughly (during which an alarm beeps for twenty-five seconds in correspondence with the CDC guidelines for handwashing duration), after which water comes out of the tap to rinse hands. The system can wash the hands of 150 individuals! Richard Kwarteng and his team (including his brother Jude Osei) were endorsed by The President of Ghana Nana Akuffu-Addo and other global bodies like United Nation! _ #GNRQuarantineCreations: – As the doors of outside are gradually opening back up, let's not forget the disciplines we created and all the new recipes we plated! Tag us in some of your favorite #GNRQuarantineCreations in order to be featured in our IG stories! _ #GOoDNewsReport #GOoDNews #GODnews #Ghana #Africa #RichardKwarteng #SolarWash #Food #Cooking #AtHomeCooking #QuarantineCreations

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What’s more, the president of Ghana himself enforced Richard Kwarteng for his creative solution. President Nana Akuffu-Addo stated in early April:

“The Ghanaian sense of enterprise and innovation is beginning to be felt.”

The 32-year-old inventor hopes he would be able to help stop the spread of the virus by not just making the invention available in his own country, but throughout the continent of Africa as well. He shares:

“I pray this pandemic will go away and there are better days ahead. We hope this will help people to practice normal hand-washing etiquette and we are very grateful for everyone’s support.”

At present, in Ghana, there are 10,201 total coronavirus cases. The active cases are 6,398.

Image credits: Worldometers

Inventions like the no-touch handwashing machine powered by solar panels are definitely helping communities to stop the spread of the disease.

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