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Regional News of Saturday, 28 March 2020


Coronavirus: Traders in Navrongo markets making good use of ‘Veronica Buckets’

A driver washing his hands with liquid soap at the Navrongo Lorry station A driver washing his hands with liquid soap at the Navrongo Lorry station

Correspondence from Upper East Region

Traders in markets within the Navrongo municipality have taken seriously measures including proper hand washing, to curb the spread of the Coronavirus Disease. They are ensuring their safety against the deadly virus by cleaning their environments and making good use of hand washing equipment, such as the Veronica Buckets and disinfectants, that have been placed at vantage points in the markets.

Recently, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development gave four selected Municipal and District Assemblies in the region ‘Veronica Buckets’, Bottles of liquid soap, Nose masks, Alcohol-based hand sanitizers and tissue papers, to support the Assemblies fight the spread of the disease.

The four Assemblies included the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly, the Kasena-Nankana Municipal, the Bawku Municipal and the Builsa South District Assemblies.

The Kasena-Nankana Municipal Assembly which received a number of the equipment has since distributed some to institutions and scattered the rest within the markets to ensure easy accessibility and encourage hand washing.

The institutions that received the facilities included the Municipal Police Command, the Prisons Service, the Municipal directorate of the Ghana Education Service, the Municipal Fire command among others.

In the markets, the hand washing facilities have been placed at the Fish, vegetable, cattle, fruits and new markets and the lorry stations, and entrusted in the care of the association leaders to ensure proper maintenance.

Grace Akua Alegewe, leader of the fish sellers at the Navrongo fish market said the hand washing equipment have been very helpful despite the few numbers in the markets.

She said traders and buyers have seen the good of the buckets and have been using them to wash their hands to secure themselves against the viral infection.

She said the support of the Assembly has complemented their own measures including, sweeping the markets and gutters, to stem the spread of the viral infection.

She lauded the initiative of the Assembly and appealed to authorities to provide more to augment what they have been given.

“I will first of all like to thank the assembly and the district (municipal) chief executive for what they have done for us at the Navrongo markets. They containers that they brought are few and the people are worrying me because they are washing their hands and they know how good it is. So if they can bring us more, we will be very happy”.

“When the virus started, we have also been cleaning the markets where we are sitting and the gutters so that the disease will not catch (infect) us”. She added as she spoke on their own interventions to curb the spread.

Madam Akua further appealed to the public to see the cleanliness of the markets as a general responsibility and to at all-time assist in keeping it tidy to avert the outbreak of diseases.

“I will like to appeal to the general public that if they can help our women in the markets so that we clean the markets because the people coming into the markets are many and the Veronica buckets are few. So I am appealing to the general public to help clean the market so that the disease will not come to Navrongo”. She appealed.

The drivers’ association at the Navrongo main lorry station who were visited by our Reporter had similar concerns.

According to Ransford Banichiga, a driver who plies between Navrongo, Sandema and Fumbisi, the hand washing equipment are not enough at the station and there was pressure on the few available.

He lamented that unlike other stations in the other Assemblies he drives to, who had water provided for them by the Ghana National Fire Service, they always have to contribute money daily to buy water to fill their ‘Veronica Buckets’.

He commended the Municipal Assembly for the preventive measure and asked for additional equipment to be provided to cater for the other sections of the lorry station. “The District Assembly came up with this container for us to be washing our hands.

We make sure that any passenger that is entering the car washes his or her hands before entering into the vehicle. They have done well by giving it to us to help us prevent the disease that is in the system right now. It is good.

But to me being a drive and going to some places, yesterday for instance I went to Fumbisi and the number of containers I have seen are more than what I am seeing in Navrongo. More to the point, the fire service in Fumbisi sacrifice using the vehicle to fill the containers with water but with something like this (pointing to their own) we have to contribute money, each driver is supposed to contribute some money for us to buy water, for us to get hand sanitizers, for us to get soap and tissue paper.

The container that have been given to us is mainly for so many stations. This container is supposed to supply Chiana, Chuchuliga, Sandema, Tumu, Tamale stations and sometimes the OA buses. So when we put in water, the next 30 to 40 minutes the water is gone and we contribute again and buy”.

So per my thinking, if they (Assembly) can provide us more containers, it will be able to help us prevent the disease and we will be more grateful”. He explained.

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