Jua Kali artisans have today called on the government to cut down the importation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to support the growth of local production and the creation of more informal sector jobs.
The Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations (KNFJKA) said the deliberate effort will support the recovery of businesses in the informal sector by boosting the production of affordable, reusable protective face-masks and other related protective gear.
“Once the government stops importing masks, Jua kali artisans are going to make money especially in the informal sector because most tailors in the market are going to sell a lot of re-usable masks and aprons,” said KNFJKA Nairobi Center Manager, Teresia Njora.
Ms. Njora said beneficiaries of the Kenya Ni Sisi Campaign will find it economical to start producing more PPE under the initiative and on their own for trade in the bigger informal sector market.
The Kenya Ni Sisi Campaign aims to distribute 1,500,000 PPE and create at least 15 million jobs by allowing the informal sector to play an integral role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative will also deploy 6,000 (3,000 ltr) contactless water stations nationwide that have a sustainable water solution and build 100,000 SATO sanitary toilets, in the war against the pandemic.
The initiative has so far employed 40 tailors who have produced more than 2,000 environmentally friendly and cheaper re-usable masks and more than 150 re-usable protective clothing.
“We have started production. Every day we have been making approximately 500 masks and continuing,” said Ms. Njora.
Over 2,000 tailors are targeted across the country, with the number of tailors set to increase initially from the current 40 to 200.
Genesis Group, Group Executive Director Valentine Gichau has called on more organizations, companies, and individuals to support this noble initiative to help affected members of our society from sliding deeper into poverty.
“We continue calling on Kenyans from all walks of life to join the initiative and make a lasting impact by touching a life. Financial support can be directed to the initiative’s Paybill number, 4073601 through the account name, Kenyanisisi,” said Ms. Gichau.