Ghanaian man creates solar-powered handwash to cope with Covid-19

Ghanaian man creates solar-powered handwash to cope with Covid-19.

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused many deaths in the world. As a result, many initiatives and projects have been set up to fight against the spread of the virus. The African continent has also been affected by Covid-19. A race against time is launched to save as many lives as possible. Therefore, the rules of hygiene are fundamental..

On March 30, the Ghanaian government put in place a two-week lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19. Many businesses were shut down during this lockdown..

In less than 48 hours, a 32-year-old Ghanaian man decided to respond to the pandemic with an inexpensive and easily constructed invention.

This African genius is named Richard Kwarteng Aning. He is a 2012 CSUC alumnus and BSC Marketing graduate. He is a shoemaker and owns a shoe manufacturing company Aningblaq Shoes. He lives in Kumasi, in the cultural capital of the country.

To help his fellow citizens, he invented a solar powered hand washing sink to encourage good hygiene habits in his neighborhood. To succeed in his project, he was accompanied and helped by his brother and his electrician friend..

My brother (Jude Osei) and I decided to create a basin to encourage hand washing “, he explained to CNN.

He then states:

As a businessman, I couldn’t stay out of business until further notice, hence the inspiration to invent this advanced device, inspired by the resurgence of Veronica Buckets »

«I saw the opportunity as a result of COVID-19 to do something significant that could have a global impact

But how did he do this?

First, he went with his brother to a local market to gather supplies to create his device. They collected as recycled materials:    

  • a sink (recycled barrel)
  • a faucet
  • a motherboard
  • a solar panel
  • a sensor
  • an alarm

ime was against them. They have less than 48 hours to complete the project following the lockdown.

Then, when they returned home, Richard Kwarteng quickly assembled the hand-washing basin. It took them five days to complete the project. Throughout the process, he was helped by his brother. Then he contacted his electrician friend Amkwaah Boakye, to handle the wiring.

Crédit photo : Richard Kwarteng

What are the features and operation of the device?

Its hand-washing sink is solar-powered and has a remote sensor that detects hands without having to touch the faucet.

The sink is made from a recycled barrel. It comes with a double faucet, one for water and one for liquid soap.

How does hand washing work?

  • The hand washing process is easy and efficient because the unit is already filled with water and liquid soap.
  • When a hand passes under the faucet, the sink pours liquid soap through a sensor. Then an alarm sound is emitted for 25 seconds, after which clean water is automatically dispensed for rinsing.
  • They created the system in a two-way channel, one to pump clean water and the other to drain the soapy water, after which it flows from a faucet under the sink.
  • Water and soap are not wasted since the amount per user is measured and discharged by the device.
  • The device allows for proper hand scrubbing with liquid soap for 25 seconds before releasing water for washing.
  • The sensor operates with an alarm. Effective, it guides users with the time and process of hand washing.

The purpose of this invention is to encourage good hand washing technique while requiring no physical contact. The goal is to avoid germs, when opening and closing a faucet. Hygiene with hand washing is very important in the fight against Covid-19.

« This is a system we created to help solve the COVID-19 problem. Imagine if we had this on all our streets with the Ghanaian flag on it, it would encourage people to wash their hands », said Richard Kwarteng Aning.

photo credit : Richard Kwarteng

His future projects.

He wishes to facilitate the production and marketing of his device on a large scale. For this, he appealed to the Ghanaian government to help and support him in his efforts.

He also plans to fight unemployment in the country by hiring many people.

« So we are going to employ a lot of people and put this product on the market because a lot of calls are coming in for orders and we can’t fail Ghanaians and Africans.”

« So we need to do it and do it well. That’s why we’re partnering with the GSA to get this standardized for the international market », said Richard Kwarteng Aning.

A viral video on social networks.

His brother Osei recorded a video of Richard showing how to use the device and posted it on social media. It has gone viral.

« It was amazing to see the shares and likes,” Kwarteng told CNN . “We started getting calls left and right. We were so proud of ourselves,” he added.

Support from the government and industry of the country.

Two days after the video’s success, members of the Ghanaian government contacted the brothers. Indeed, the Ghanaian Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation contacted them to see if more machines could be built to be placed in the country’s cities.

In early April, President Akufo-Addo congratulated the men and acknowledged that “Ghana’s sense of enterprise and innovation is beginning to emerge.

Ghanaian industry experts came to help him further develop his technology project. The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has certified the invention for commercial production.

« We have a team of engineers, biomedical and civil engineers, so we promised him that we are happy to partner on behalf of the authority to help them grow », said Professor Alex Dodoo, CEO of the GSA.

Ghana has a population of 31 million. The country has 4,000 cases of coronavirus. Specifically, 641 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 83 recoveries and eight deaths. Thanks to talents like Richard Kwarteng Aning and his team, it has a cost-effective, easy-to-build invention to deal with COVID-19 and help vulnerable communities.

« I pray that this pandemic will go away and that there will be better days ahead,” he said. “We hope this will help people practice normal handwashing etiquette and we are very grateful for everyone’s support,” Aning said.


Richard is a very inspiring Ghanaian inventor. Through his motivation and perseverance, he has managed to help his country fight the pandemic with a culture of hygiene. May God bless him.


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