In response to the deteriorating COVID-19 situation in Namibia, and a dire shortage of oxygen, a number of key private sector players, through the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), have a coordinated a unified approach to assist in a time of need.
The first 21 tonne of bulk oxygen supply was delivered to the Ministry of Health and Social Services on 24 June 2021, for use in state hospitals to relieve the critical shortages being experienced across the country, through this noble initiative. The first delivery was fully sponsored by Namdeb to a tune of N$476,575.
In addition to the initial donation by Namdeb, pledges have already been received by a number of Chamber members including Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb, Barlow World Equipment, Navachab Gold Mine, Mincon Namibia, Swakop Uranium and Bannerman Mining Resources.
The private sector led coalition quantified a shortfall of 180 tonnes of oxyegn per month to satisfy the current need during this devastating and severe 3rd wave of COVID-19. The working committee have sourced bulk oxygen supply of 40 tonnes a week from Air Products in Johannesburg, via Kyro Gas Namibia, in addition to the medical oxygen that Afrox is able to supply to Namibia.
To meet the monthly shortfall, and secure the delivery of 40 tonnes of bulk oxygen to state medical centres, the coalition have called on all private sector players to make pledges for donations to meet the nation-wide shortfall of oxygen. The initiative is being coordinated with Afrox who have availed their national distribution network throughout the country.
The logistics and sourcing of oxygen supply is being coordinated by a working committee which is chaired by Mark Dawe, Managing Director and Country Manager at B2Gold Namibia.
The coalition is also coordinating the donation of other critical medical supplies that are needed by state hospitals and medical centres. To date, the mining industry have collectively donated approximately N$ 5,834 million to this noble initiative, who have stepped up to help, along-side other private sector players, a nation that is being suffocated by a third wave of COVID-19. It is anticipated that more pledges will still be received from Chamber members and other private sector players.
Contributed by the Chamber of Mines of Namibia