Close to 100, 000 tea farmers in Murang’a have benefited from face masks from their county government in a move aimed at curtailing potential spread of Covid-19.
The devolved administration on Wednesday gave out 120,000 masks to the management of 10 tea factories in the region for distribution to their farmers.
Speaking when he handed over the masks to the factory directors, Governor Mwangi wa Iria said that tea zones have been identified as risky areas considering the big number of workers at the farms, collection centres and inside the factories.
He said the county government opted to make free face masks to farmers as majority could not access them.
Wa Iria noted that management of the factories should put measures that could ensure social distance at green leaf collection centres, since there were usually a number of people at the facilities.
Every farmer will get a mask as plans are being made to provide more masks to their family members.
“There is big demand for face masks but for now we will give 120, 000 pieces to be distributed to farmers. Within a period of two weeks we will get more masks for to benefit the farmers’ families,” said Wa Iria after meeting directors and managers from the local factories.
He lauded the contribution by tea farmers in the county’s economy, saying the county administration will support rehabilitation of roads linking the tea factories.
The county government has been making masks through local polytechnics and sanitizers to support fight against spread of coronavirus.
Every week, more than 7,000 liters of sanitizer are manufactured and distributed to residents from every part of the county.
The governor reiterated efforts by his government to combat the disease, which has negatively affected livelihoods of many Kenyans.
Meanwhile, earlier in the week, the county government launched an ICU facility at Murang’a Level-5 hospital to offer the much-needed critical services in case the county gets Covid-19 positive patients.
Wa Iria said he would help the directors to come up with memo aimed at streamlining the new tea regulations, recently announced by the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya.
He stated that regulations are good and aimed at benefiting farmers, but was quick to add that KTDA directors had some issues, which needed to be sorted out.
The Chairperson of Zone 2, Erastus Gakuya asked the governor to assist them so as they can present their memorandum to the CS saying some parts of the regulations were not friendly to KTDA and farmers at large.
By Bernard Munyao