THE Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Charity Fund has rolled out a five-year nationwide hand washing with soap project for pupils in basic schools.
An initial 1,000 schools in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Volta, Upper East, Upper West Central and Western Regions have been selected for the project.
The beneficiaries will be expanded to 500 more schools by the end of the project.
Managers of the Foundation said the project was in line with the vision of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to ensure healthy living for Ghanaian children.
The project, which is being undertaken in conjunction with PZ Cussons Ghana Limited, will see each beneficiary school provided with special buckets known as “adepa buckets” affixed with water containers, and cakes of soap to be used for the hand washing.
The buckets will be placed at strategic points in the schools and labelled, “Hand-washing Station” while colourful pictures depicting how to properly wash the hand would be pasted at the washing points.
PZ had committed themselves to spend about GH¢50,000 for the five-year duration of the project subject to extension.
The Executive Director of the foundation, Dr Thomas Agyarko-Poku, told journalists at the pre-launch media briefing in Kumasi that the project also formed part of the water and sanitation component of the foundation’s activities.
Dr Agyarko-Poku stated that the Ministries of Education and Health had been contacted to help ensure that the project become successful.
“Teachers will be encouraged to supervise children to wash their hands before and after meals, and after visiting the washroom.” he said.
The executive director said the Foundation did not restrict its activities to areas that fell under the authority of Otumfuo.
“We believe in the vision of Otumfuo and want the foundation to be seen as a Ghanaian institution serving all the people of the country,” he said.
He stressed that his outfit would work extra hard to ensure that the project was well established in schools.
Dr Agyarko-Poku said the foundation was discussing with other partners to provide polytanks to some schools in the country.
Besides they were in talks with Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited to construct boreholes in some communities in the country.
He indicated that the Otumfuo Education Fund was undergoing review and that from the next academic advertisements would be put out for people to apply for support. The names of beneficiaries would also be published.
Dr Agyarko-Poku stated that the scholarship would not be limited to schools in Ghana and that plans were complete for scholarships to be awarded to study medicine and other disciplines in Germany and other countries.