The novel coronavirus undoubtedly threatens the survival of many businesses globally.
But it is also a time some businesses are cashing-in. For instance, those producing hand sanitizers, liquid soaps, face masks, wipes and gloves are making huge gains due to a high demand for these products that serve as protective gears against the disease.
At Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, there's a rush by people for Veronica buckets which are mostly used for hand-washing.
Veronica Buckets, comprising of a bucket and a basin on top of a wooden stand, are placed outside many public places for quick and easy sanitation.
This one-stop-shop of soap and running water, accessible to people at various public places, is a vital and simple step in saving lives. In times of a pandemic like the coronavirus, they're very useful in countries like Ghana where the taps do not flow constantly, and are not in every home or public space.
Checks by Citi Business News at some vending points within the Ashanti regional capital showed that more people; both individuals and institutions, continue to purchase the plastic containers. One of the sellers, Faisal Razak, confirmed that market has been good in these past few days.
“Due to the coronavirus, we started making something extraordinary in such a way that they can pull water through the tap in a very simple way. We have different sizes. A veronica bucket that takes 100 liters cost GHS85:00, and we have 80 liters for GHS80:00, and we have different sizes. Depending on the size we add the tap to it for you and charge you a normal price. Today for instance I have sold 300 of the buckets. The demand is going very well, they're really patronizing, and we want everyone to have some prevent the disease.”
Another seller, Henry Amankwah, confirmed to Citi Business News that patronage has increased.
“At first, people didn't buy more of these buckets, but since they announced the measures for protection, business is really going well. I have GHS60:00, GHS65:00 and GHS75:00 cedis with the tap fixed on them”.
Some workers were seen busily fixing the taps on the plastic containers to meet the rise in demand.
As the public is highly encouraged to frequently wash their hands, most homes, offices and other public places have the Veronica Buckets placed at vantage points to ensure that people adhere to the directive.
Some buyers complained about the prices of the buckets, but said they had no option than to purchase them.
“I bought the bucket because we are washing our hands with soap and clean running water. I bought mine for GHS40, although I wish they sell it at GHS30:00 so that more people can buy it.”
Another buyer said “I came to buy this container because of the sickness. At first it used to be GHS30:00 but now they are selling it at GHS30:00”.
“The price is manageable; I bought mine for GHS30:00 because I manage a public toilet facility and people need to use their hands” another buyer said.
But one of the vendors, Faisal Razak vendor, says the prices of the buckets are reasonable and fair.
“Some are complaining about the price; but we've been explaining to them that we're using quality products. After buying the buckets and the taps, I have also engaged people who fix them for me and I pay them, so in the end I make just little profit. We're pricing it in such a way that everyone can buy some” he noted.