Zimbabwe’s sci-tech varsity opens sanitiser production

National University of Science and Technology (NUST). File photo

National University of Science and Technology (NUST). File photo

from WELLINGTON TONI in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) THE opening of a sanitiser project at the country’s foremost science and technology university augments collaborations between government and tertiary institutions in eliminating the coronavirus pandemic in Zimbabwe.

The National University of Science of Technology (NUST) in the second capital, Bulawayo, has initiated the project.

NUST runs an innovation hub, formerly known as Technopark.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mthuli Ncube, hailed the development of the initiative that has already produced a 1000 units.

“From what I have seen, this is a commendable project as it comes during this COVID-19 fight,” the minister said.

“We need to put resources to such innovations going forward. A lot of resources are needed right across the country and this will benefit everyone here.”

Ncube said some allocations had been done in the budget for this year but there had been a re-allocation of resources because of the COVID-19.

He maintained the importance of keeping such projects running.

“The sanitisers are a critical part in the fight (against COVID19) and we are happy with this,” Ncube said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa officially opened the NUST project in November last year.

However, there is a lack of funding as only ZWL$42 million was allocated to all projects of this kind in the country in the 2020 national budget.

Prof Amon Murwira, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, disclosed that a total of 40 innovation hubs had been completed at NUST, the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), among other universities.

The Great Zimbabwe University (GZU) in the ancient city of Masvingo has received 20 000 litres of ethanol from sugar maker, Tongaat Hulett, for the manufacture of hand sanitisers to be distributed in the province.

Professor Rungano Zvobgo, the GZU Vice Chancellor, said his institution had already handed over 3 000 sanitisers to the government.

It is working on delivering a further 4000.

The government and the private sector have shown exemplary unity in the fight against COVID-19.

Mnangagwa’s government is equipping Ekusileni Medical Centre to be a major quarantine and isolation facility for the provinces of Matabeleland.

Highlanders, the Bulawayo-based Premier Soccer League giants, has raised ZWL$5, 000 towards Ekusileni to keep it running, even after the pandemic has been contained.

Zimbabwe has confirmed four deaths from 31 cases of COVID-19.

– CAJ News

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