By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
A youth club within the Parade Field and Down Street Communities in Caldwell Coffee Farm, outside Monrovia, has invented the bamboo reeds for hand washing in their communities as their contribution in the fight against the Ebola virus.The youth group comprised of about 25 members in the Upper Caldwell District represented by Adolph Lawrence told this paper that out of the 85 houses within those communities, survey showed that only three homes had hand washing buckets.
The Parade Field Community Change Club under the leadership of Benjamin Wollor told this paper yesterday that their innovation came about when the survey showed that out of the 632 dwellers of those communities, 85 percent are unemployed and could not afford the hand washing buckets at the cost of US$10 on the local market.
Mr. Wollor said the group which was established mainly to bring about change in communities thought it wise to help in the midst of no government intervention and on personal fund, to depend on wisdom and thought to use the bamboo reed that is used up country for drinking palm wine since the reed bush surrounded those communities.
He said their idea yielded fruits and that method is presently what is being used in the communities so they have embarked on cutting 90 more of the bigger sizes of the reed stalks where they push a hole through using the zinc nail, and following that they put in disinfectants and place them in positions that the community members could see them and use them for the purpose of washing their hands as part of the preventive measures towards the Ebola awareness.
Meanwhile, the youth group said the additional 90 pieces will be planted before the various homes in the community but the challenge is with the sustainability of the process regarding the Clorox and chlorine and soap.
Mr. Wollor said they are calling on well-meaning community members as well as others interested in the prevention of the spread of the Ebola virus to help them succeed in the project. He also said they are also seeking assistance for six barrels to place them at the six strategic entry points of the communities to be used for hands’ sanitization purpose.
The group has put in place other strategies for sustainability including gardening and soap making so that proceeds from their work could enable them purchase more disinfectants adding, ‘After Ebola, trauma will be high and we want to continue to support mainly children who lost their families to this virus.”
The Parade Field Community Change Club was established on January 1, 2014 with the aim of reshaping the lives of the young people. It has been engaged in spreading HIV and AIDS messages, connected a community bridge linking Parade Field to Thumbs-Up and is conducting community services every first Saturday.
It is currently using the town crier approach to sensitizing the communities against the spread of the Ebola virus as well as its prevention methods.