The City of Bulawayo, Friday, received more COVID-19 donations from Econet Wireless, ZAPU and Youth Alliance for Safer Cities (YASC), as more organisations are pooling resources together to fight the global Coronavirus pandemic.
On behalf of the city, Bulawayo mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni, who received the donation at the Large City Hall Friday said the gesture was an appreciated sign of public unity against COVID-19.
Econet Wireless came through with six by 100 latex gloves, 66 goggles, 65 overalls, 66 aprons, 65 rubber gloves, 65 surgical masks, 65 995 masks. Five packs of 100 latex gloves.
Representing Econet in partnership with Higher Life Foundation and Cassava Smartech, Regional General Manager, Ashley Kudiwa, said the donation was made possible by 8 000 subscribers nationwide who donated towards the cause.
“I am happy what we have seen a lot of human effort come through to fight the pandemic, against something that was not planned. Through mobilisation, Econet facilitated contributions from 8 000 people across the country towards sourcing for PPE for frontline workers. It is easy for us say we are working from home but who will look after those on the frontline, that is why we procured PPE.
“Since March 29, we mobilised a total of ZWL$730 000, which is about US$8 000, where after a national caucus we agreed to distribute to COVID-19 referral hospitals -such as Thorngrove Hospital, Wilkins, Mutare, Masvingo General Hospital and Gweru isolation centres. Thank you to the 8 000 people who contributed. This was from you and me, the ordinary people and not Econet but the public who worked together,” she said.
ZAPU Deputy Chairperson, National Council of Elders, Percy Bhebhe said it was unfortunate COVID- 19 found the country in a “pathetic” state when the economy was further aggravated by impacts of climate change.
“Had the COVID -19 found the country’s health services in better shape and the country generally prepared or disasters, made or natural, the impact of the disease would be minimised. Recently the government outlined its plans to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic and given how the health sector is directly affected, it is surprising that the allocation to health was so little compared to other sectors such as agriculture and mining,” Bhebhe noted.
He said this motivated ZAPU, through its Department of Social Welfare to collect various items to support health institutions.
“This is the first part of this project spearheaded by a team with current representatives in the UK, South Africa and here in Zimbabwe. The three areas are at different levels of gathering support material worth the group in the UK having collected the bulk of what is presented today,” the ZAPU official.
ZAPU donated two buckets and two mops, 34 Sinklin bleach, 12 Sinklin handwash, 12 Sinklish, 10 Sinklin Dishwasher, 50 bars of Elangeni green bar soap.
YASC Programmes Manager, Casper Chigama, said the youth organisation was committed to developing solutions that are tailored to smart and safe cities’ challenge in the local context.
“This is a consortium of youth-led organisations and groups whose main focus is to make cities safe by engaging and supporting local authorities to value and work with youth. The organisation has recently become an official partner in the Plan International’s Safe and Inclusive Cities project.
“We work with the youth in our programmes and public safety, hygiene, education and economic growth are vital in the development of smart cities and that is our aim as we fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chigama said.
YASC donated two 2 000 litre water tanks for youth centres in Pumula North and Hyde Park.