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Rivatex to produce 50,000 face masks daily to beat market demand

By Fred Kibor | April 23rd 2020

Workers at Rivatex in Eldoret working on mass production of masks. The company has upscaled production of masks to 50,000 in a day. The workers are on shifts for 24 hours to achieve mass production. [Kevin Tunoi, Standard]

Rivatex Company has procured more machines to boost production of face masks in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

The newly acquired gadgets will ensure the company makes 50,000 face masks up from the current 30,000 daily.

Rivatex Managing Director Thomas Kipkurgat said there had been a high demand for the masks following the government’s directive that Kenyans wear them always.

“We have stepped up our production aimed at providing a solution to the public, which is in dire need of PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) during this pandemic,” the MD said yesterday.

He said their employees have to work day and night to meet the high demand. “There is certainly a shortage of quality masks in the market. We have two approved varieties, woven and non-woven. They are of good quality that meets the government set standards,” he said.

He added that they had distributed the masks to the company's shops around the country.

Prof Kipkurgat said there was adequate raw materials at the facility before the first case of Covid-19 was announced.

In the meantime, the company has embarked on mopping all cotton from farmers countrywide.

He said recently approved BT cotton has helped the company make quality products.

The company also plans to work on producing other crucial items required in the fight against Covid-19, like bed sheets and linen for hospitals.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago urged the Industrialisation ministry to allocate more resources to the company to ensure daily output of masks is over 100,000.

“In North Rift region alone we require over 15 million masks and at the moment counties such as Homa Bay are sourcing their masks from Rivatex. The government should focus more on innovation from locals to fight Covid-19,” said Mr Mandago..

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