The term ‘Veronica bucket’ has gained popularity since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana.

Due to its function in providing running water to facilitate proper washing of hands – one of the safety measures to curb the spread of the virus – the Veronica bucket is ideal for use in many locations and can be seen almost everywhere nationwide.

The inventor of the Veronica bucket, Mrs Veronica Bekoe speaking on Personality Profile on Joy FM narrated how the product came about in 1993.

According to her, the absence of running water some decades ago in laboratories which resulted in health personnel having to wash their hands in bowls prompted the need to invent a product that helps persons wash their hands under running water.

“The public reference laboratory where I was working was the only health laboratory in the country. So they sent down a consultant as a lab advisor by the name of Joan Hetrick.

“When she came, she needed to have a local partner to work with and I was lucky to be selected by the Head of Department then to work with her. She didn’t know anything about the laboratory set up in the country so she needed to travel around the country,” she told Lexis Bill.

“So we went around some selected labs spanning from teaching hospitals right down to one-man labs where you have a table and a few test tubes.

“Going around, we realised that in facilities where there was no running water from the taps, the lab staff were using bowls of stagnant water to wash their hands after their work. Immediately, we realised there was a problem there,” she stated Thursday.

The birth of the Veronica Bucket

According to the retired Biologist, the product was inspired by our local porridge vendors popularly known as “Hausa Koko”.

The aluminium vessel that contains the porridge, she said, was a guide to her creating a product to solve the challenge she had noticed.

“It was around that time that the porridge sellers, the Hausa Koko especially were selling their ‘kooko’ in these aluminium containers we are seeing now.

“So that evening when we were having discussions as to what we had seen during the day, it just occurred to me that if we fitted a tap to one of these containers, we could generate running water for washing hands.

“So I mentioned it to her and she bought into it so she asked me to have one made for us to try, which I did. I brought it and it served the purpose,” she said.

The name Veronica bucket

Mrs Veronica Bekoe revealed that she did not name the invention Veronica Bucket, however, one Joan Hetrick did.

She disclosed that the invention was meant to solve a challenge in the laboratories but later spread beyond the health facilities.

“When we started the training, we used to go around to teach people that if you didn’t have running water from the taps, you could get a container like this, get a tap to it and generate your own running water. So in fact, she was the one who named it Veronica Bucket.

“She named it Veronica bucket because I came up with the idea. No, I don’t know why she called it a bucket. So that was how the name came about since 1993. We were using the name at markets and because she had called it Veronica bucket so wherever we went, even in the reports we wrote, she put it in there as Veronica bucket and gave the reason why she named it so,” she narrated.

Mrs Veronica Bekoe is a retired Biological scientist who formerly worked with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) at the Public Health and Reference Laboratory.

The old student of Aburi Girls SHS served as a Biologist for 46 years at the Public Health and Reference Laboratory.