Tuesday 7 July, 2020

Minister, volunteers turn t-shirts into face masks for the vulnerable

Photos courtesy Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat.

Photos courtesy Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat.

Organisations and individuals are working around the clock to help produce masks for donation to the public, to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat, donated unused t-shirts to have them made into approximately 300 face masks, which would all be donated. 

He said the t-shirts had been in storage from a previous venture. 

"During one of my StayAtHome cleaning sessions I found a large box of 2XL and 3XL T-shirts given to me last year by Barbara-Anne Look Loy with the words, “heh, you always begging for things to give away”."

"Reuniting with the box coincided with the call for people to wear cloth masks, and I realized the T-shirts were the perfect breathable and washable material for masks."

"Cheryl Ryan-Mohammed, Val and the Chaguanas East ladies took charge and now we have hundreds of cloth masks for distribution to the neediest people. You are right Barbara! UpCycling Can Save A Life during COVID. Thanks Barbara, Cheryl, Val, Rudy and the Chaguanas East ladies!"

Another charitable organisation, SEWA TT, said they are in the process of making 20,000 masks which they will also donate to the public.

The organisation is currently producing the masks and said they will be ready soon.

The Chaguanas East constituency also donated food supplies for the Easter period in an effort to help vulnerable families. 

Rambharat said his group, Friends of Clarence, partnered with the Chaguanas East constituency along with others to distribute grocery items which are submitted through donations. 

The items are given to families in dire need of food supplies. 

Donors include the Coconut Growers Association, which supplies various hand and bath soaps, Gopaul and Company, which supplied wheat crackers, Old Mac Agro, which donates food items such as rice, oil, sardines, Country Pride, which donates flour, and Amalgamated Group.

According to the US Centers for Disease for Disease Control, (CDC), t-shirt fabric can be used to create face masks when going out in public, for example to the supermarket.

Most supermarkets and markets will not allow customers inside the premises without a face mask, in order to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Government is currently arranging the distribution of free face masks via FEEL (Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life).  An invitation for tenders for the manufacture of cloth masks has been issued by NIPDEC

Interested persons are asked to contact NIPDEC's Company Secretary via email at nipdecprocurement@nipdec.com for any further information or clarification.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: