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NGPU 30/04/2020

Youth polytechnic in Nakuru County produce face masks

Youth polytechnic centers in Nakuru County have joined the fight against COVID-19 through the mass production of cloth face masks.

The eleven vocational training centers begun the production this week following a directive by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui. Once completed, the face masks will be distributed to the vulnerable and needy people within Nakuru County.

According to the County’s Director for Vocational Training Mr David Mwangi, the face masks are made by current students in these TVETs, former students and professional tailors.

“Majority of the tailors are our students. However, we have hired some tailors as well to help us reach our target faster,” Mr Mwangi said.

He noted that the Department is working to have 50,000 face masks produced per week, adding that the tailors are well on course.

So far, production is at its peak in Njoro, Molo, Mirera, Muteithia, Cheptuech, Chemare, Barut, Nakuru, Subukia, Rongai and Kagoto polytechnics.

“The masks we are making are cloth masks with three layers including a filter at the center. Our design has been approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standard,” Mr Mwangi affirmed.

He added that the masks also adhere to the guidelines released by the Ministry of Health.

At the same time, the tailors underwent a rigorous training undertaken by officers from the public health office. This training enumerated the strict health guidelines that each tailor must undertake during production of the face masks.

Mr Evans Onyancha, a fashion and design instructor at Barut Vocational training center said the tailors are able to produce up to 1000 face masks per day.

“We started producing 600 pieces per day on Monday but now that the tailors have familiarized themselves with the design, we are able to make 1000 pieces a day,” he noted.
Tailors with manual sewing machines can make up to 80 pieces a day while those using the electricity powered sewing machine can produce up to 100 facemasks per day.

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