Silafrica, the manufacturer and supplier of plastic and packaging solutions has partnered with Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations to cushion informal sector workers from job losses during the pandemic.
Silafrica, Group Executive Director, Akshay Shah and Jua Kali umbrella body, KNFJKA Chief Executive Officer, Richard Muteti have signed a Memorandum of understanding on a COVID-19 resilience programme that will see informal sector workers enter into mass production of low-cost personal protective equipment.
“Many people have lost their livelihoods and this MoU comes at a perfect time as it is set to reverse some of the damage caused by the pandemic .It is very rare you find the big boys [Silafrica] come to work with the small boys [informal sector],” said Richard Muteti.
Kenya’s informal sector which roughly employs 15 million Kenyans of working age has been critically affected by COVID-19.
Under the MoU, Jua Kali tailors will produce the PPE’s from special pre-cuts made by Sil Africa targeted at low-income population.
The PPE are made from a material approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) in accordance to the World Health Organization (WHO) regulations.
“This is a whole new process involving new technologies and way of doing things and could grow into a new market space since there’s limitless possibilities on what could be made from the stretcher material, which is 100% recyclable” said Akshay.
The protective gears are produced using heat-sealing method as opposed to sewing, resulting in an air tight PPE, further reducing chances of germs transfer.
This new approach allows for rapid adoptions of new products as sealing is at least 9 times faster than sewing and therefore trying out new products will take relatively much less time.
With the material being 100% recyclable, Silafrica is once again setting the pace for other plastic packing solutions companies towards achieving a global circular economy.
Silafrica is the first company in Africa to partner with Ellen MacArthur Foundation to share in their commitment to eliminate plastic waste and create a sustainable future for our planet.
Since the onset of Covid-19, Silafrica has been at the forefront of the fight against it by offering cheap, efficient and effective hygiene solutions. These include low-cost PPE, SIMTANK hand wash stations and SATO toilet latrines.
The MoU is part of the bigger Kenya Ni Sisi campaign that seek to raise donations to enable availing the solutions at much more subsidized prices to areas of critical need.