Kenya: COVID-19 - Nakuru Begins Mass Production of Face Masks

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani (centre) with Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Director-General Zachary Mwangi (right) and State Department for Planning Principal Secretary Saitoti Torome during the launch of the 2020 Economic Survey at the Treasury.

Nakuru County government has taken the fight against Covid-19 a notch higher by activating the production of 10,000 face masks per day at its vocational training centres.

The decision by the Governor Lee Kinyanjui administration to make free face masks will boost the fight against coronavirus in the informal settlements.

FREE MASKS

"I have four teenagers who are at home as schools are closed and if you add their mother, I need to set aside Sh300 to buy masks which I cannot afford and still feed them," said Mr Erustus Mbalilwa, a resident of Manyani slums on the outskirts of Nakuru town.

Traders have cashed in on the rising demand of the items following a directive that police should arrest those not wearing masks. The masks are sold at Sh50.

"The mass production of 10,000 face masks per day is good gesture by the county government and those in poor areas will benefit," said Ms Florence Ngulamu, a resident of Bondeni estate.

The County Director of Vocational Training David Mwangi said the main centre of mass production of face masks will be at Nakuru Youth Polytechnic.

Other production centres in the region are in Chemare (Kuresoi North), Cheptuech (Kuresoi South), Molo Vocational Training Centre, Njoro Vocational Training Centre, Barut (Nakuru West), Kagoto (Bahati), Muteithia (Naivasha) and Rongai Vocational Training Centre.

50,000 FACE MASKS

Speaking at Nakuru Youth Polytechnic on Tuesday, Mr Mwangi said the vocational training centres are ready for the task.

"Before the end of this week, we hope to make about 50,000 face masks which will be distributed to the residents to beat the spread of Covid-19," said Mr Mwangi.

He announced that the production started on Monday and the department hopes to deliver the first batch of face masks by Friday.

Mr Mwangi said the department is optimistic of meeting its target as it is using its skilled staff, trainees and hired experts in the production of the masks.

At Nakuru Polytechnic, there are 30 workers while in Barut, Njoro, Molo and Kagoto there are about 10 personnel in each station.

In Chemaner there are eight workers, Cheptuech (seven), Muteithia (nine) and Rongai (eight).

"The beauty of this initiative is that we have hired our former trainees and this goes on to prove that our training standards are top notch," said Mr Mwangi.

He assured the residents of Nakuru that the face masks have been approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

"The masks are made according to standards as set out by World Health Organization (WHO) and our staff have undergone a special training organised by the Public Health department to ensure quality and standards are not compromised," said Mr Mwangi.

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