“Facing the untold hardships of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been a trying and challenging effort for businesses, government and the Namibian nation as a whole,” said Nora Ndopu, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability manager.
“It is, therefore, greatly rewarding to see how Namibians from all walks of life and the private business sector have pulled together to assist each other and government in an effort to contain the spread of this deadly disease, while at the same time helping those in need, be it in the form of medical, financial or moral support.”
Skorpion Zinc, an integrated world-class mining and refinery operation near Rosh Pinah, has also done their part over the past 16 months, lending a helping hand towards government efforts to curb the spread of the virus while attending to various needs of the //Kharas community.
“Like many other mines in Namibia, we have, from the outset, been part of the efforts by government to find ways and means to lessen the impact of the pandemic,” explained Ndopu.
Most recently Skorpion Zinc contributed N$150 000 towards the NCCI’s Covid-19 private business initiative, while a further N$50 000 has been committed to the //Kharas region’s Directorate of Health for the purchase of much-needed PPE.
Governor of the //Kharas region Aletha Fredrick thanked Skorpion Zinc for their support and added the pandemic had affected everyone’s life in untold ways.
“The effects of coronavirus is causing devastation on all levels of human life; let us make it our responsibility to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19. This requires us to cooperate and adhere to all mandatory health protocols”.
She also requested and encouraged all the inhabitants of //Kharas Region to get vaccinated, thereby playing their part in curbing the spread of the pandemic in Namibia.
Skorpion Zinc also provided government with the biggest quarantine facility in the region since May 2020.
“We were approached by the //Kharas region Directorate of Health for assistance in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in the region. Skorpion Zinc mine was to be placed under Care and Maintenance as of 1 May 2020, and this meant that the housing facility for our shift workers would remain vacant. This provided us with an opportunity to avail the 250 self-contained room boarding facility to the ministry of health to be utilised as a quarantine and isolation centre for the //Kharas region. The facility was not only used by government but also by private companies such as Namdeb to quarantine their employees,” Ndopu stated.
Skorpion Zinc also donated two ventilators to the //Kharas Directorate of Health to be allocated to the Lüderitz and Keetmanshoop State hospitals.
The ventilators were purchased at a cost of N$480 000. More donations included sanitisers, soaps and masks to local schools in Rosh Pinah; ‘We Care’ packages distributed to highly impacted community members; training for local Rosh Pinah community women on mask making and support to the local Police Station and Namibian Defence Force manning the roadblocks during the lockdown.
“We are also proud to be part of the //Kharas region and in particular the town of Rosh Pinah and applaud the pro-active approach taken in response to the pandemic,” Ndopu added.
A Covid-19 Task Force committee was formed consisting of key stakeholders in Rosh Pinah such as Skorpion Zinc, Rosh Pinah Zinc Cooperation, Ministry of Health, RoshSkor Township, Sidadi clinic, local schools and some local businesses.
This committee was established to ensure local efforts in fighting and preventing Covid-19 cases in Rosh Pinah are coordinated and stakeholders leverage their resources and skills for a greater reach and impact. The efforts were targeted around the Rosh Pinah community of a population of approximately 7 000 residents.
“We hope that our efforts have gone some way in alleviating the unprecedented burden and hardship that many Namibians and Namibian businesses had to endure. Let us continue to fight this pandemic together by adhering to the rules imposed by government, wearing your mask correctly, sanitising, keeping a social distance and getting vaccinated,” Ndopu concluded.