Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
As the world battles to find a lasting cure to the Coronavirus disease, the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Owerri has gone a step further to ease the spread of the deadly virus by fabricating an automated machine for washing and drying of hands.
Also, a manually operated hand washing machine was also constructed alongside the automated machine to help in maintaining good hygiene based on the laid down rules by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The automated machine which was unveiled at the school premises was designed by the Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics Department of the school by the supervision of the COVID-19 Response Committee.
Explaining the reason for the invention of the machine, rector of the institution, Dr. Michael Arimanwa said that in view of the ravaging virus, the management deemed it necessary to protect the students and staff who may resume shortly after their compulsory vacation.
He disclosed that the machine would be placed at every strategic place in the school for the staff and students to observe the frequent hand washing routine. The rector also announced that the school would go into mass production of the machines for the benefit of the general public.
“Our students are on holiday now and soon they will return to school, so we don’t want to encourage the spread of the virus in the school community and that is why we have come out with the wonderful innovation.
“But we are not going to be selfish with it, we have plans to go into mass production of the machines, with these first one invented, it’s going to be easy for us to duplicate it. Many hotels in the state need it as well as the state government, they can call on us when they need it,” Arimanwa stated.
The automated machine which was a test run by the rector and media men present at the ceremony is a high powered solar inverter machine with an automatic operated tap, dryer, and automatic 20 seconds stopwatch to regulate the duration of the washing.
Before the unveiling of the handwashing machines, the COVID-19 response team had earlier presented sanitisers and soap to the school to cushion the effect of the pandemic.
Chairman of the six-man committee, Anderson Ezeibe who is also the National President, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) while explaining their motivation behind the invention said that it was their little contribution as a member of ASUP to set aside their strike to help in the combat against the pandemic.