It has been an eventful time we are in and still very much is. The COVID-19 pandemic has re-arranged the normal order of business and it has not been business as usual. Who would have ever thought we would see a national lockdown in our lifetime? Yet we have just stepped into one and the fear and anxiety amongst the general populace are almost palpable. One of the most remarkable things about us is “Ubuntu” – essentially the drive to want to see us flowing together regardless of what may want to separate us. At times like this, it is when we really get to see how much we have regard for others more than just ourselves. In this article, let’s look at some of the amazing things some local firms are doing in the fight against COVID-19.
When I got wind of this I was actually quite stunned – you most probably will too. So according to Nick Mangwana, 4 local tertiary institutions are on the frontlines doing great initiatives aimed at fighting the pandemic. The Chinhoyi University of Technology is producing 12 000 masks daily plus 10 000 sanitizers and 10 000 hand soaps. The University of Zimbabwe is producing 60 000 masks per month and 5 000 litres of sanitizers per day. Midlands State University is producing 42 000 litres of sanitizers per month and 10 000 masks per month. Harare Institute of Technology is producing 1 000 litres of sanitizers daily. Bindura University is producing 1 000 litres of sanitizers per day. There is so much I can talk about here but for now I will just applaud the great work these tertiary institutions are doing – Education 5.0 is really paying off it shows.
Global Solar Private Limited
This local solar company has made several commitments which they have already started to fulfil. They are donating and installing at Wilkins Hospital an 8KW solar inverter and at least 5KW solar panels. The company owner, Jeffree Rugare indicated that he did not have batteries in stock but 16 will be needed for the respective inverter configuration. He said he would check with friends in the industry. He also said they would donate rechargeable bulbs to fit the whole hospital – they said they can actually provide all hospitals nationwide identified for COVID-19. They also provided US$500 for the buying of ventilators. Further, they will site a borehole and if it is 40 metres deep they will equip it with a full solar water pump system. The specification of the 40 metres was because they are currently left with a pump that can support that depth. For this, they indicated they would need a drilling company to partner. Norbert Chawira of Ligmart Engineering has since taken interest and said they would site and drill a borehole at the hospital in 3 weeks’ time.
Ecosure has committed themselves to provide key medical personnel with protective gear and equipment, health and life insurance, and transportation during their commutes to and fro work. This is going to be a commitment they will fulfil during the next 12 months. The transportation will be provided using the Vaya service. As for health and life insurance, the medical personnel will be able to get ZWL$500 cash for each day of hospitalization and a lump sum of ZWL$50 000 in the event of permanent disability and eventual death by an accident. Medical personnel who may pass on during this time will have their children get full education scholarships.
Green Fuels specializes in the manufacturing of ethanol that is used for the blending of fuel. Given that they have access to lots of ethanol they have since started making ethanol-based hand sanitizers. They have earmarked them for use locally and even internationally. They will also donate hand sanitizers to the Ministry of Health and Child Care which shall, in turn, disburse to health institutions.
The treatment of COVID-19 patients heavily depends on oxygen. In light of this, BOC Gases have said they will prioritize COVID-19 patients and those patients already on therapies that require oxygen. They made it clear that they will not issue oxygen to individuals who have not been prescribed therapies that require oxygen or just for standby purposes. BOC Gases also gave assurances that their oxygen supplies are sufficient enough.
Sakunda Holdings has taken up the responsibility to refurbish Rock Foundation Medical Centre and St Anne’s Hospital. This will be to equip them to be able to handle COVID-19 cases. The amount they shall be channelled towards this will be US$2.7 million.
This initiative was kick-started by Juliet Le Breton in response to COVID-19. The crux is to develop and disburse ventilators and related accessories. So far they have mobilized at least £5000, 300 volunteer engineers, 3D printers, medical experts, software developers and logistical experts. If you wish to donate towards this cause you can send your donation through EcoCash to 0773 853 390 (Sara Todd). You can also volunteer to work with them if you wish.
Free Deliveries For Pensioners (60 And Above)
Here I will mention companies that have offered to deliver food orders to senior citizens for free. Elephant And Pineapple deliver ready-made meals and assorted dairy products, amongst others (deliveries within 10 km of 15 York Avenue, Newlands) – order through +263 774 893 711 or 024 250 7889. Sputnik Enterprises delivers groceries in Avondale, Borrowdale, Kensington and Malborough – WhatsApp Keri on +263 772 860 529. Call or WhatsApp Brookfield Farm Store on +263 774 077 600 (deliveries within 10 km of 177 Enterprise road). WhatsApp Amp Meats on +263 732 421 798 or their website (deliveries anywhere in Harare). WhatsApp Tenga 4 Wena on +263 772 288 568 (deliveries anywhere in Harare).
160 Hydro Farm has donated 100 heads of lettuce to be distributed to old age homes in Harare. You can WhatsApp them on +263 773 445 828. Great things happening!