Veronica Ayele Bekoe is the name behind the famous Veronica bucket. She is a retired biologist with over 40 years of experience in medical laboratory practice in Ghana.
The Veronica bucket is a household name in many domestic and public spaces in Ghana. Since its invention in 1993, it has served the important purpose of providing piped water for various sanitation purposes in Ghana and beyond.
Additionally, the Veronica Bucket has been instrumental in the fight against COVID-19 by promoting hand washing with soap under running water.
Veronica Ayele Bekoe comes from Jamestown in Accra, Ghana. Veronica received her basic education in Accra and later went to Aburi Girls High School for her secondary education. For her higher education, Veronica studied at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) from 1968 to 1972. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences/Biology. Veronica worked with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Public Health and Reference Laboratory from 1972 to 2008.
Sharing how she came up with the Veronica Bucket, Veronica says she came across the idea because of a sanitation issue while working at the public reference lab. In 1993, a consultant named Joan Hetrick was sent by the Ghana Health Service to train laboratory workers in the country, and Veronica was chosen to accompany her.
During the visit, Veronica noted that some of the facilities did not have running water. The laboratory workers used bowls containing water to wash their hands. She worried about the health consequences of using standing water to wash her hands after each lab session.
According to Veronica, this situation motivated her to create something that could provide running water when needed. She fashioned a container from a piece of aluminum sheet and had a faucet attached to it. This marked the birth of the first Veronica Bucket that successfully served. Later, many copies were made using different materials and were distributed to the different health institutions in the country.
In an interview, Veronica revealed that the name “Veronica bucket” was proposed by Joan Hetrick, who was impressed with Veronica’s creativity and problem-solving abilities.
Veronica’s name is now recognized worldwide for the fame of the Veronica bucket. While working in the Ghana Health Service, Veronica was the lead person for the national AIDS and STI control programme. Ghana’s First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has awarded Veronica Ayele Bekoe for her social innovation.
Information from https://connecting-classrooms.britishcouncil.org/resources/home-learning/bringing-covid-19-under-control/veronica-bucket,
https://yen.com.gh/165651-veronica-bekoe-7-top-facts-genius-ghanaian-woman-designed-veronica-bucket-video.html, https://mobile.ghanaweb.com/person/ Veronica-Bekoe-3394 was used in this story