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Government tender sparks hope for Covid-19 hit textile Company

A fabrics manufacturing company in Thika that was on the verge of closure following the effects of Covid-19 pandemic has the government to thank after receiving tenders to make fabrics for disciplined forces.

The Thika Cloths Mills that depends on making school uniforms and other government tenders had found the journey rough following the closure of schools and limited or no government tenders at all in the past four months.

The Company Managing Director Tejal Dhodhia termed the four months the most difficult the company has gone through, as it was on the verge of closure.

She said the containment of the Nairobi Metropolis had shrunk their market as they offer non-essential items, thereby reducing their production capacity and profit margins.

A worker at Thika Cloths Mill Company that makes fabrics for disciplined forces. Photos by Muoki Charles.

The company had 700 employees, most of whom had been sent on half pay leave.

” The closure of schools and the Coronavirus containment measures locked us out of business. It has been four difficult months until the government gave us this new tender, ” she said when she led journalists on a tour of the facility yesterday.

They got the tender to make the Kenya Wildlife Service uniform that has kept them running.

Last year, the company entered into an agreement with cotton farmers from Yatta in Machakos County, Kitui, Homa Bay, Siaya and Lamu Counties to buy all the cotton produced in those areas.

They also gave farmers seeds, pesticides and subsidized fertilizers.

”We have been hard hit by the pandemic financially and I’m wondering what we shall do to our cotton farmers who expect us to buy their produce this month,” she said.

Before Covid-19 hit the country, the company used to make fabrics for uniformed forces which they supplied to Kitui County’s KICOTEC.

She said it would take months for normalcy to return to companies saying most of them have suffered from reduced profit margins and shrunk market.

“Companies in the metropolis that make non-essential items have been hard-hit by the pandemic. It will take months for normalcy to resume but we hope once the lockdown is eased and the economy opened, we shall compensate for the lost time,” she said.

By Muoki Charles

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