By Mc Donald Chapalapata, Contributor
Ethanol distiller, Ethanol Company (EthCo), sugar manufacturer Illovo Dwangwa Estate and haulage and agriculture company Unitrans on Thursday jointly donated equipment to fight the Covid-19 pandemic to Nkhotakota District Council worth MK8 million.
Speaking at the function in Dwangwa, EthCo Chief Executive Officer Lusubilo Chakaniza said they decided to help out in the fight against Covid-19 as traditionally, the company has been helping out in crises and working with communities.
“The genesis of our company is that it was established in 1982 in response to the global fuel crisis in the 1970s and again in 2006 we had another business crisis where the country had reduced the fuel ethanol blending ratio by half thereby halving our market and as such we had to introduce extra neutral ethanol as a baseline product.”
“In the current Covid-19 crisis, the Company has stepped in with a new hand sanitizer in response to societal needs. These are difficult times and all companies are struggling to survive but as part of the community we have assisted the district with 500 litres hand sanitizers, 300 assorted masks, 4 thermo scanners, 200kgs HTH Chlorine and 100 litres fuel,” said Chakaniza.
She said the whole donation from EthCo amounts to MK2.6 million.
On his part, Illovo Dwangwa Estate General Manager Jerry Ndlovu said Dwangwa Estate is not only a place of work to over 3,500 employees but also an engine of growth to thousands of people living in communities within the estate and surrounding areas hence their donation.
“We are donating 4 thermo scanners, 400 pairs of heavy duty gloves, 97 aprons, 250 googles, 400 kilogrammes of chlorine, 20 FFP1 and 950 FFP2 disposable masks and 280 litres of fuel. The total value of these items is K4 million. We believe these items will go a long way in fighting this invisible enemy called Covid-19,” said Ndlovu.
On his part, Unitrans Malawi Dwangwa Depot Manager Masindisa Sambo said they donated 5000 latex gloves, 100 heavy duty gloves, 200 masks and MK300,000 worth of fuel for the Covid-19 fight totaling to MK1.2 million.
“We employ about 452 people and we would not want work disruption because of Covid-19 through quarantine and isolation. We want to support the District Health Office to sensitize the community on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 by following the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended procedures,” said Sambo.
Receiving the donation, District Commissioner for Nkhotakota Dr Medson Matchaya thanked the three companies for the gesture.
“We need to stand together to fight this pandemic and I applaud you for what you have done,” said Matchaya.