RUNDU - Four tailors who also in the past benefited from equipment donation from the ministry of trade and industrialisation were on Friday given textile materials to enable them to sew face masks to sell to Namibians in their localities to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Profit is meant for the upliftment of the beneficiaries.
The ministry of industrialisation and trade initiated the scheme to empower local small-scale businesses after it noted there is demand for face masks that has surfaced due to the need for protection from the fast-spreading Covid-19, that has caused global chaos. “As a ministry, our objective is to explore and identify capable local micro, small and medium enterprises that benefited from the equipment aid scheme to manufacture masks. Our ministry has materials valued at N$40 000 to distribute countrywide towards face mask production to fight against the scourge of Covid-19,” said the deputy minister of trade and industrialisation, Verna Sinimbo at the handover ceremony of textiles to identified tailors in Kavango East region. According to Sinimbo, the ministry felt the impact of Covid-19 on the Namibian people.
“My minister on Tuesday, launched the project for the production of public face masks in Windhoek, were she handed over the first batch of textile materials to tailors based in Windhoek,” she said.
Following the Covid-19 outbreak, the government of the Republic of Namibia decided to implement some protective measures to prevent the spreading of this deadly disease.
For that reason, due to lack of sufficient mask suppliers in the country and the restriction being enforced by the government of the Republic of South Africa on mask exports, the ministry of trade will engage local capable garment producers to make and supply the needed masks.
“We have therefore identified tailors around the country who will assist the Namibian nation in the production of face masks. Today, we are handing over to the four tailors based in Kavango East. It is expected that they will produce in total 12 000 masks, which will be retailed from between N$15-N$25 and will cater for the different age groups,” she noted.
All tailors will have access to the technical specification guidelines as provided by the Namibia Standards Institute (NSI) and will be awarded the Essential Services Certificate to operate during the lockdown through our regional office in Rundu.
She stated the impact of Covid-19 has had a negative effect on micro, small and medium enterprises.
“But we will pull through together. Although our economy is estimated to be losing N$2 billion a week due to the epidemic, our efforts to shore up our MSME sector will go a long way to help cushion the negative impacts thereof,” she said. The donation of textiles will benefit all regions.