Bulawayo firm scales up sanitisers production

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TIERRA Chemicals, a Bulawayo company that manufactures detergents, has joined the fight against the spread of Covid-19 by scaling up production of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

Chief executive officer, Mr Edward Muchengeti, said his Belmont-based company was targeting producing enough sanitisers to supply the Sadc region.

“The region is in short supply of sanitisers and yet there is need to battle the pandemic, this coronavirus. 

“It’s well known that alcohol-based sanitisers are the best and we have also added an anti-bacterial agent to further assist in killing the virus,” he said in an interview.

Mr Edward Muchengeti

Mr Edward Muchengeti

“I have been getting calls from Botswana and South Africa and as a result, we have not only increased production but doubled our production team. 

“The good thing is that we recently imported equipment, which makes it easier for us to produce. 

“As a result, we are in the process of scaling up output to meet demand of not just Bulawayo, but the region as various entities are experiencing shortages.”

Mr Muchengeti said their sanitisers have an alcohol content of 65 percent so as to ensure effectiveness.

“We put more alcohol because we want most germs to be killed. The product battles with the virus at the highest level and we saw it fit to make it have the exact components required to fight the virus and save lives,” he said. 

Mr Muchengeti bemoaned the acute shortage of bottle containers in the country saying this was hindering their distribution efforts.

“At the moment we are target producing 1 000 units of 100ml bottles a day, which we will scale up to 2 000 in no time. We are already in the process of producing 250ml and 1 litre variants,” he said.

“We also have five-litre containers for those who would want refills as plastic containers are in short supply. 

“Packaging is one of the challenges we are currently facing, but we are in the process of importing quite a number of bottles and we are confident that from mid-week we will have the bottles we need.”

The company works closely with Hallow Water Solutions as distribution partners. Mr Muchengeti urged the Government to capacitate local companies that manufacture sanitisers in order to help curb the spread of Coronavirus.

“We are private companies and cannot do it alone. We need assistance from the Government to import important materials and to distribute as Government is the biggest customer in any country. 

“Government can also help us raise awareness on the importance of alcohol-based sanitisers. We have the capacity to not only manufacture for Zimbabwe but for other countries in Sadc,” he said.

Managing director of Hallow Water Solutions, Miss Katlego Moyo, said the market response for the sanitiser products waspositive.

“We have been contacted by companies, Government departments and individuals who want the Sunklin sanitisers and we are battling to deliver the sanitisers in the shortest time possible. Demand has been overwhelming but Tierra Chemicals has a dedicated team,” she said.

The company produces a wide range of detergents to cater for all household and industrial needs. These include dish washing liquid, floor cleaner, floor polish, shower gel, water-based degreaser and chloride lime for disinfecting sewers.