Industries on verge of collapse

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Thika Cloths Mill CEO Tejal Dhothia at her industry that makes school uniforms and fabrics for disciplined forced uniform. The company has been forced to venture into making face masks after reduced market owing to containment of the Nairobi metropolis.

As Covid-19 continue to bite, a number of industries in Thika town are struggling to keep with the financial heat, with some opting to close temporarily owing to the dwindling market and reduced profit margins.

            Textile industries like the Thika Cloths Mill that supplies school uniform and fabrics for the uniformed service have not been left behind, with their market shrinking after indefinite closure of schools and containment of Thika in the Metropolis.

            According to the CEO Tejal Dhothia, the company has been forced to turn into the mass production of face masks, whose market has of late been flooded, making the venture less profitable.

            The company was also forced to send home some 700 workers though on paid leave, as they wait for Covid-19 to clear.

            Speaking as she presented a Sh 1 million cheque to Kiambu Covid-19 emergency team over the weekend, Tejal said the containment of the Nairobi metropolis has frozen their market, and reduced demand of their materials.

            The company has been a ray of hope for hundreds of cotton farmers from Yatta, Kitui and other parts of the country who had started venturing into cotton farming after the revival of cotton sector by the government.

            It has since been negotiating with farmers to adopt the plant, promising to buy all the cotton at better prices.

            The company hopes to be up and running normally as they move to redeem the market that had been lost during the containment period, once the government lifts the containment measures.

            Tejal who is a crusader of ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya” initiative widely supported by president Uhuru Kenyatta urged the National government and county governments to save textile industries by buying locally produced face mask.

            The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce President Richard Ngatia who attended the event said a number of industries especially in areas under government’s containment have complained of how hard they have been hit due to a shrunken market.