Bolgatanga Ten straw basket weaver groups in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region have received Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to enable them fight the spread of COVID-19.
The items worth over
GHC10, 000.00 were donated by the Paku Enterprise Ghana in collaboration with
the African Market Baskets of the Overseas Connection of United States of
America (USA), two straw baskets exporters operating in Upper East Region.
The beneficiary basket weaving groups who are mostly vulnerable rural women are; from Zorbisi, Bolga-Sherigu, Zaare, Sumbrungu, Sokabisi, Yorogo, Sumbrungu, Zorko, Nyariga and Yikene communities.
The items included; 105 Veronica buckets, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and handwashing soap, to enable members of the weaver groups to practice regular handwashing with soap under running water and regularly apply hand sanitizers to help prevent contracting the virus.
The staff of the two organizations also presented coronavirus educational materials, mostly posters on preventive measures, signs and symptoms of infected persons and the National/local emergency COVID-19 short codes for medical support in the event of a suspected case.
The groups were given education on the virus prevention in their respective communities and urged to observe personal hygiene, social distancing, and prompt reporting of suspected cases to the health authorities as well as avoid stigmatization of suspected persons and all other laid down protocols.
At short ceremonies to present the items to the groups, Mr Paul Akurugu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Paku Enterprise Ghana, said although the COVID-19 pandemic had affected everybody in one way or the other, the basket weaver groups, mostly women, were among the most vulnerable groups that required immense support to keep them safe from contracting the virus.
The Paku Enterprise is an indigenous firm based in Bolgatanga and is primarily into the production and export of authentic Bolgatanga baskets and other handicraft products.
It works in conjunction with the African Market Baskets of the Overseas Connection of USA and the two have been in business with basket weaver groups in the region for many years.
Mr Akurugu said as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, both organizations annually collaborated with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to register and renew the NHIS subscriptions of all members of the weaver groups, including; their children.
“For instance, whilst the two organizations in 2018 collaborated with the NHIS to register and renew about 4,000 members of the basket weaver groups and their children in the region, the number registered and renewed in 2019 was a little more than 4,000 weavers and their children within the weaver groups”, the CEO indicated.
Mr David Akurugu, the General Manager of Paku Ghana Enterprise, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the basket industry and said the traditional skills, handed down from generation to generation, provided employment to approximately 10,000 people in the producer communities.
He stated that, Paku Enterprise and its partner, had helped women and men in the weaving communities to establish over 20 weaver groups that specialise in commercial production of assorted baskets for sale.
“The two organizations have also constructed weaving centres with store rooms for all the weaver groups to enhance cohesion among group members”, he added.
Source: Ghana News Agency