From George Maponga in Masvingo
The newly commissioned Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) textile factory has so far manufactured 26 000 reusable face masks including personal protective equipment (PPEs) for medical personnel as the institution continues to play its part in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
The $10 million factory was last week opened by President Mnangagwa and is located at the university Industrial Park Complex in Masvingo’s Industrial area.
It will also house sanitiser production, food processing and water bottling plants as part of GZU’s quest to conform to the dictates of Education 5.0.
However, it is the manufacturing of reusable face masks and medical scrub sets at the textile factory that has consolidated GZU’s position as one of the leading institutions in the fight against Covid-19.
“The factory has employed 26 casual workers and has to date produced a total of 26 179 reusable face masks and 322 medical scrub sets guided by the World Health Organisation and Government Protocols,” said Professor Zvobgo.
“The textile factory has adopted a business model that will see it outlasting the current Covid-19 pandemic. Production will be expanded to include industrial clothing and other textile garments.”
He said the immediate thrust was to increase production to make face masks accessible and affordable to communities across the province and beyond.
Professor Zvobgo said his institution saved nearly US$20 000 by relying on internal skills from their Works and Estates Department to run the factory.
Professor Zvobgo the impending opening of a sanitiser plant was going to add impetus to the university’s fight against Covid-19.
To date the university has produced 40 000 litres of sanitiser 15 480 litres of fumigants at its temporary plant.
GZU took the lead in manufacturing face masks and sanitiser after it receive a donation of ethanol from sugar producer, Tongaat Huletts Zimbabwe.