The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has certified an automated handwashing machine invented by Mr Richard Kwarteng after thorough examination by the authority proved the machine meets acceptable international standards.
The GSA has subsequently, presented a licence to Mr Kwarteng, the inventor of the Ghana-made solar-powered machine, to use the certification mark of the authority.
Mr Daniel Vincent Arthur, Head of Engineering Department, GSA, said after a thorough inspection on the device, the Authority “confidently certified the machine” as it met the acceptable international standards for commercial use.
The electrical, mechanical and automation side of the device conformed to the world standard specifications of GS IEC 60730 and the marking standard of LI 1541, he said.
He explained that the GS IEC 60730 standard applied to the automatic electrical temperature sensing controls for use in, on or in association with the equipment.
The Authority would, therefore, work with the inventor to improve on the product to be competitive in the market space.
Professor Alex Dodoo, Director-General of GSA, commended the inventor for improving the domestic capacity, saying the facility was an improvement on the ‘Veronica’ buckets.
In an interview with Mr Kwarteng, he said the idea was birthed after the restriction on movement was announced by President Akufo-Addo, inspiring him to develop something to help fight the spread of the pandemic.
“I went to town to purchase a few items after the President made the announcement, realising how people were rushing to get some items to serve their needs during the period,” he said.
“It was then I noticed the ‘Veronica’ buckets and then, I asked what else could be done to improve on that invention to make it more attractive for people to practice hand washing. Then, I came up with this idea.”
On how the sensor-controlled handwashing machine worked, Mr Kwarteng said the device consisted of a tank, a tap, a solar panel and a battery compartment.
He said, “You move your palms close to the tap and it drops some amount of liquid soap into your palms. From that point, an alarm beeps for 25 seconds, during which you can thoroughly wash your hands, according to the World Health Organisation standard.
“The water flows automatically after that for rinsing and stops after a while.”
The clean water for rinsing in the container was 80 liters, he said, and could cater for a total of 150 persons.
“The batteries on the machine can power it for about 48 hours when the solar power runs out,” he added.
GSA is mandated under the Standards Authority Act, 1973 to undertake conformity assessment activities.
It gives permission for a conforming product to bear a mark of conformity called the Standard Mark; providing evidence of compliance to specification.