Project Sanitize Maun has pledged to donate 22, 000 face masks – worth an estimated P300, 000 – for all primary school learners in the Maun Administration Authority (MAA).
The project’s chairperson, Tebogo Boalotswe revealed they made the commitment mid May, with their tailors, all women, currently hard at work making the masks.
“These will cover all primary schools under MAA, from Khwai, Phuduhudu, Somelo, Sehitwa, Kareng and others. In total, there are about 21, 200 pupils attending MAA schools and that is the actual number of masks that the council requested from us,” he explained, adding they decided to make an extra 800 masks to cover needy secondary school students.
Boalotswe believes the initiative will be of great benefit to both the recipients and the tailors, the majority of whom are beneficiaries of council programmes, including poverty eradication.
“All our beneficiaries are women. Some are elderly women who did not have any sustainable income, so we got the list from the council and we asked them to do the masks. They are doing so at their own pace,” noted Boalotswe, adding they provided the ladies with cut out materials and thread to ensure the masks were the correct sizes for young learners.
Project Sanitize Maun consists of a combination of businesses, predominantly safari companies, from the tourist town.
It seeks to donate to a sanitisation concept and has been doing so through the District Commissioner’s Office, which oversees Covid-19 Relief projects.
“The project was initially to help MAA with sanitation services and materials. But during the course of that, we noticed there were gaps and so we took a business decision to step it and help where there is need, to ensure everyone else has a reduced risk of exposure to Coronavirus. That is when we took a decision to donate not only sanitation material but masks as well,” outlined the organisation’s Chairperson, adding they have also donated masks to government officers as well as 4, 000 litres of sanitizer for front line officers.
“We provided warehouse space for storing donated food, we released 13 tonne trucks to take food to hard-to-reach areas where some of the government vehicles could not reach. We even provided air transport to aid government reach places like Xaxaba,” Boalotswe further stated.
“We actually released 60 vans to help during distribution of food to beneficiaries. Some of our trucks had to carry sorghum which was returned from primary school to millers in Gumare because Maun only has a few of those. There was desperate need of food and we had to help speed up delivery,” he continued, calling on other local businesses to follow suit and give during this time of need.
Many in Ngamiland were left without formal employment as businesses went under in the past three months when Coronavirus hit the country and the rest of the world.
The tourism industry, which is basically the bone of Ngamiland and source of income for many households in the area, was crippled within a matter of few weeks of the pandemic’s outbreak.