VAYA has partnered with widows from the United Methodist Church in Mabelreign, Harare, to make reusable cloth masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Following a month-long lockdown which has since been extended by another two weeks, the government has ordered that citizens wear masks in public, in a move meant to arrest the spread of the deadly disease.
Cassava On Demand Services CEO Dorothy Zimuto, whose business operates VAYA mobility, said the initiative was a way of giving back to the community in which VAYA operates, while at the same time acting to reduce the spread of the disease.
The Mabelreign Methodist church’s Mrs Esther Razo said: “The COVID -19 pandemic has affected all of us in one way or the other and we all have a role to play in preventing the further spreading of the disease.”
She said sewing the masks was another means for widows in the church community to make a livelihood even as they contribute to a good cause of preventing the spread of the disease.
Mrs Zimuto said: “Safety for our drivers and customers is of paramount importance to us, and as such no passenger can get into a VAYA vehicle without a mask”. She said in the event that a customer has no mask, the VAYA driver will sell them one. She added that VAYA partners would continue to sanitise their vehicles aggressively, several times a day, as they have been doing since the start of the epidemic, to ensure passenger safety.
Healthcare experts say the convenience of washable masks is that they are easy and cheaper to maintain as they can be simply washed by normal soap to render them reusable. They are also environmentally friendly.