Zoomlion rolls out school disinfection programme

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey
 Mr Aminu Mohammed Zakari, the Ayawaso North Municipal Chief Executive, cutting a tape to launch the new disinfecting equipment. Looking on are Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh (left), Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa (2nd right) and Rev. Ebenezer Kwame Addae (3rd right), the Head of the Vector Control Unit of Zoomlion. Picture: Emmanuel Quaye
Mr Aminu Mohammed Zakari, the Ayawaso North Municipal Chief Executive, cutting a tape to launch the new disinfecting equipment. Looking on are Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh (left), Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa (2nd right) and Rev. Ebenezer Kwame Addae (3rd right), the Head of the Vector Control Unit of Zoomlion. Picture: Emmanuel Quaye

The Ghana Education Service (GES) and Zoomlion Ghana Limited have rolled out an exercise to disinfect and fumigate all senior high, special and technical schools across the country as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In all, a total of 1,130 schools will benefit from the exercise which is expected to be carried out within the next three weeks.
The exercise is expected to inactivate organisms and kill pests in 722 public senior high schools (SHSs) and technical schools; 380 private SHSs and 28 special schools.

Dormitories and classrooms

Speaking at the launch of the exercise in Accra today (April 14), the Director-General of the GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, explained that the fumigation would be carried out in the dormitories and classrooms of all the second cycle institutions to ensure that those premises were safe before students returned to school.

He said 546 boarding and 176 day schools would be disinfected under the exercise and indicated that Zoomlion had been engaged to undertake the exercise because two years ago some agencies were engaged to undertake a similar exercise but the bedbugs resurfaced shortly afterwards.

"After that we decided to work with the best outfit that will use the best chemicals and the recent disinfection of the markets showed that Zoomlion had the capacity to take up that role”.

"We also asked them to use a specific chemical and if they engage the services of third parties, they will have to use the same chemical," he said.

Prof. Opoku Amankwa announced that Zoomlion Ghana Limited, as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), had decided to fumigate and disinfect the 380 private SHSs for free.

Support children at home

The Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, who was present at the launch of the initiative, said closing schools across the country as a measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus, as directed by President Akufo Addo, had affected both public and private schools "and our way of life".

He advised parents to support their children with their studies while they were at home and added that social distancing and staying at home were key to the fight against the spread of the COVID-19. He, therefore, urged all stakeholders in the education sector to adhere to the protocols.

The minister reiterated the need for universities to deploy robust digital systems to reach their students who had to stay at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He also called for the disinfection of places of work and worship to prevent the spread of the virus which had affected many people and claimed lives in many parts of the world and in Ghana.

Dr Opoku Prempeh commended all frontline workers who had risked their lives to enhance the fight against the disease.

The media, he said, would have to play a frontal role by using the various channels to communicate to enhance coordination of messages to help get the public educated and sensitised to the precautionary measures they could take to keep themselves safe.