Thursday, May 30, 2024

Zambia Sugar lends its support to the COVID-19 fight

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Zambia Sugar Plc has handed over refurbished buildings and assorted items as part of its creating shared value initiative in the COVID-19 fight in Mazabuka.

The company handed over the refurbished ZIAH college to the Mazabuka District Epidemic preparedness Committee as part of preventive and preparedness activities in the District. Speaking at the handover ceremony in Mazabuka earlier this week, Managing Director, Mrs Rebecca Katowa said Zambia Sugar had responded to the Mazabuka District Epidemic preparedness Committee’s request with an attitude that Zambia Sugar and Mazabuka District are in this fight against COVID-19 together.

“When the District Commissioner, as chairperson of the Mazabuka District Epidemic Preparedness Committee began to engage with the stakeholders in the district and proposed the use of the ZIAH College as an Isolation centre, Zambia Sugar came forward with support to refurbish the facility since the infrastructure at the college had deteriorated over a number of years. We wanted to make sure that the facility was as conducive as can be. This is what our Thriving Communities strategy is all about! It is in our hands to stop the spread of this disease. We want our district to be prepared for any COVID-19 cases, even while we are doing our part to prevent any cases in Mazabuka.”

In addition to the refurbishments Zambia Sugar has provided:

• 50 beds
• 50 mattresses
• 100 sets of bed sheets
• 100 blankets
• 1000 face masks to ensure the protection of the frontline workers at this facility and other members of the community
• 10 x 5 litres of liquid hand soap.

Billboard at the refurbished buildings at the Mazabuka COVID-19 Centre

Zambia Sugar acknowledged the great cost of this support but the company believes so much more in the value that this service will bring to the community. The company has also implemented preventive measures in a bid to fight the covid-19 pandemic in the workplace. A COVID-19 executive task team meets every morning including weekends to review the COVID-19 responses impacting the entire district. Zambia Sugar also continues to give its employees regular updates including latest government and group guidelines on COVID-19.

Mrs Rebecca Katowa said, Zambia Sugar in line with its creating shared value (CSV) approach is also looking at more ways of supporting local businesses that are greatly hit as a result of the pandemic and some practical areas are through providing opportunities in the supply chain. One example is supporting some Mazabuka women groups in the production of cloth masks that will be made available to employees and members of the community.

Officiating at the Handover Ceremony, Mazabuka District Commissioner, Ms Jenny Chirwa, who is also Chairperson of the Mazabuka District Epidemic Preparedness Committee commended Zambia Sugar for the support and called on more support from the community stakeholders. She also implored the residents to respect social distancing, practice personal hygiene and refrain from unnecessary movements.

“We commend Zambia Sugar for being an all-weather friend. When we presented the initiative they did not hesitate at all. This is as it should be and we thank you for this support. I would like to take this opportunity to call upon all those stakeholders who wish to support the COVID-19 fight to channel their contribution through my office. This will ensure accountability and offer us an opportunity to acknowledge your support publicly,” said Ms Chirwa.

Speaking earlier, the Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament, Hon Gary Nkombo thanked Zambia Sugar Plc for the support and called on everyone in the country to come together in the COVID-19 fight and unite to ensure the pandemic was defeated. He appealed to everyone to follow the guidelines given by Government and refrain from social gatherings.

“I am aware that Zambia Sugar has spent over K1.8million on refurbishing this facility. As always we thank you for your generous support. It is my prayer that no case will be recorded in Mazabuka and we do not get to use this facility. However, it is also important that we continue to prepare for a possible outbreak to ensure that we effectively contain it,” Hon. Nkombo said.

Zambia Sugar Country Managing Director Rebecca Katowa, giving her speech during the handover of the refurbished buildings at the Mazabuka COVID-19 Centre in Mazabuka
Zambia Sugar Estate Maintenance Coordinator – Mr Mulenga Chibwe (in reflective vest) explain the refurbishment works undertaken by Zambia sugar as (from Left to right), Dr Phallon Mwaba District Health Director, Mazabuka District Administrator – Ms Jenny Chirwa, Zambia Sugar Plc Country Managing Director – Mrs Rebecca Katowa, Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament – Hon Gary Nkombo (in suit) and Mazabuka Chief Environmental Health Technician – Mr Mulemuna Mushabati (in pink shirt) listen on.

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