A campaign to create awareness on the novel coronavirus pandemic, food safety, clean cook stoves and cooking fuel sanitation among others with the aim of bringing sanity into various markets across the country has gained momentum within the Greater Accra Region on Thursday June 24, 2020 which witnessed traders within three (3) marketplaces in Accra vigorously sensitized.
The exercise which was on the theme: “Championing Food Safety & Covid-19 Management” saw the campaign team toured the Taifa main market, Taifa Borkina market and Kwabenya Satellite market during the early hours of the day where they have interacted with traders on the need to strictly adhere to the health protocols of covid-19 as well as adopt food safety, proper hygiene and sanitation measures to always remain safe.
They were also open to sound education on investment opportunities to enable them to grow their businesses during both difficult and viable times.
The campaign dubbed: “Food Safety, Clean Cookstoves, Cooking fuel sanitation and Covid-19 Management sensitization & Awareness Creation in markets” is an initiative of Work Partnership International (WPI) Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) committed to improving food safety and promotion of proper sanitation among others in the country.
According to Mrs. Hilda Naa Aku Adjei, the Founder and Executive Director of Work Partnership International Ghana, the rationale behind the campaign was to empower and enlighten traders within various markets within the country on the need to adopt good hygiene practices that can lead to good health and well-being at all times.
“We believe this program will boost morale and encourage traders to adopt good hygiene practices which is good for food safety practices and can also lead to behavioral change”.
“We are aware most of these women are illiterates so the need to let them know what is happening within the global world to help them protect their lives including that of their family members is key”, said Mrs. Adjei in an interview.
In her address, Mrs. Hilda Adjei enlightened the market women on the realities of the coronavirus pandemic, explaining it is a global issues which the world leaders are battling with and appealed to them to always adhere to the health protocols such as observing social distancing, regular washing of hands under running water with soap, covering up their mouths and noses with tissues each time they cough among others.
She urged them to inculcate the knowledge they’ve acquired out of the training into their family members and further stressed the need for them to always practice personal hygiene, adding, “It is very paramount for their upkeep”.
Touching on the project, Mrs. Hilda Adjei averred that it is focused on promoting the five (5) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) namely goals 2,3,6,7 and 8 which will see the campaign team tour ten (10) markets within the Greater Accra Region.
“This morning, we visited Taifa main market, Taifa Borkina market and Kwabenya satellite market. Next week, we are moving to Pokuase main market, Amasaman Central market and the Amasaman Satellite market.
“The following week, we will move to Ofankor and Lapaz market, Chantan market and finally to Tantra Hills Satellite market just to promote our agenda in order to help save lives”, the WPI boss further noted.
Mrs. Adjei named the Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) as the sole sponsor of the project and commended their effort in supporting the initiative. She called on other organizations and individuals to emulate their kind gesture to promote the agenda.
Adding her voice to call for support, Ms. Georgette Agyeman Badu, a WPI Partner appealed to benevolent organizations, institutions, philanthropists including all well-meaning people in Ghana and beyond to lend their support to the project to enable it reach every marketplaces in the country.
The Market Queen of the Taifa Market, Queen Mercy Anane whose presence graced the occasion charged the market women to take the sensitization exercise seriously and ensure they adhere to all the safety measures suggested by the WPI Ghana campaigners.
While commending the WPI Ghana for the good gestures, the elated market queen quickly called for the sustainability project to achieve maximum result and impact.
One of the speakers, Mr. Richard Donkor, an Environmental Health Officer at Ga East Municipal Assembly who spoke eloquently on the topic: “Sanitation and Awareness Creation on Covid-19 Management warned the traders not to dare Covid-19 that it does not exist but to take the health protocols seriously and always observe them adding, “The sickness is real, it has no cure, no vaccine therefore be very careful”.
At the various markets, different topics which centered on Covid-19 management, food safety, personal hygiene, clean cook stoves and cooking fuel sanitation were introduced to the traders by different speakers who took turns to drum down the campaign message.
On the topic: ‘Food Safety Education’, Mrs. Nana Anane Adjei, Programs Manager at WPI who educated the market women on the WHO’s five (5) keys to safer food and the common food safety errors that occurs during the process of cooking or food handling from the marketplace to table stressed on the importance of personal hygiene as a key to safer food and advised them accordingly to ensure regular and appropriate hand washing, keeping cooking utensils and cooking surfaces like chopping boards, knives among others thoroughly clean at all times.
In his presentation on the use of improved /clean cook stoves, Mr. Bismarck Asamoah, CEO of Nasem Brand Enterprise (manufacturers of the Oba Hemaa Special Cooking Stoves) who also doubles as a partner of WPI Ghana charges the traders to always make it a point to make use of the an improved or clean cook stoves to ensure cleanliness and safeguard their lives.
©Joseph Kobla Wemakor