The European Union (EU) Delegation to Ghana, in collaboration with Fashion Connect Africa, a fashion enterprise, has donated 10,000 reusable face masks to four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for distribution to vulnerable communities in the Greater Accra Region.
The gesture formed part of the support of the EU to Ghana in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
At a presentation ceremony in Accra yesterday, the EU Ambassador in Ghana, Ms Diana Acconcia, said the donation was to promote the use of appropriate and standardised reusable face masks to help curb the spread of the virus and to mitigate the effect of used disposable masks on the environment.
According to her, the reusable masks, which were produced in the country, were safe because the producers followed the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) recommendations in the manufacturing processes.
The NGOs, which received the items, are Ink Ghana, Act for Change, Galaxy Club and Plastic Punch.
The beneficiary communities include Jamestown, Usher Town, Nima, Mamobi, all in Accra, as well as others within the Greater Accra Region.
Ms Acconcia explained that the reusable masks provided sustainable and environmentally friendly way of protecting a person against COVID-19.
She said disposable face masks, on the other hand, were usually discarded in public places, causing harm to the environment.
Ms Acconcia said the support was a reminder that the solidarity between European countries and the rest of the world would continue to remain a priority to the EU.
She outlined measures the EU had mapped out to help in the fight against COVID-19 to include awareness campaigns, art competitions and donation of hand washing stations as well as donation of waste and composting bins.
“I urge everyone to continue to listen to official guidelines and advice. Adhere to them and stay safe. Keep social distancing, use your mask properly and wash your hands regularly,” Ms Acconcia further advised.
She said soon, the union would start a new project to provide a greener and healthier environment in schools across the country.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fashion Connect Africa, Ms Victoria Michaels, said about 225,000 masks had so far been distributed in the country with support from some partners such as the America Chamber of Commerce, Blue Tech Ghana and Daley Finance.
Although the number represented about 25 per cent of their proposed 1 million mask distribution target, she expressed confidence that together with the EU, they would strive to reach their goal.
“This and many other previous synergies between us have established the EU delegation as a true friend of Ghana. Your continuous support for this project will help us reach thousands of Ghanaians who cannot afford face mask, especially in deprived communities,” she said.