What are the challenges we faced during this COVID 19 Pandemic
This was an extreme challenge for us because our people are vulnerable groups i.e. low income earners; those at the bottom of the pyramid. They live in informal settlements in urban and peri-urban areas and these places are extremely crowded. With this information, our first step was to create awareness on: What is coronavirus? How is it transmitted? Why keep social distance and why wear mask? With the above questions we knew how exactly to help our people. As much physical distancing was out of question, we trained on when and how they can wear masks, frequent hand washing and how to wash hands and use of hand sanitizer with alcohol content above 60%.
We provided corporate color coded masks and gave them five masks for 5days with different colors. Weekend also have different colors. We extended our generosity to their families by providing them with masks. We also trained them on how to wear the mask in the correct manner, not wearing them on the forehead or below the chin as most people are doing. Because we believe if their family is safe our people are safe too.
The cost of transport skyrocketed and our people report to work on a daily basis. The public transport sector is in for money and they might not care about social distancing, providing hand sanitisers and hand washing areas. Earlier the government had issued guidelines for public transport in fighting the COVID 19 pandemic. With time we have seen the public transport dropping the balls and not providing Hand sanitizers and not keeping social distancing. They claim the hand sanitizers are quite expensive and experience losses every day. This poses a health risk to our people which is an invisible missile thrown to them. There are high chances of our people contracting the respiratory COVID 19 virus.
These people are on a minimum wage and public transport is their only means of transport. Their salary might be finished even before the month ends. Some may be forced to walk to work e.g. a walk of 7km from where they stay. This promotes unproductivity at work since they may arrive late and a bit tired.
We decided to introduce a program Cycle to work. That means Cycling to work. This program has several benefits:
- Reduction in transport costs and help them save especially they are low income earners. This is a huge boost for them and the money can be used to buy food and cater for other essentials.
- Time management – It will be easier to get to work and arrive on time especially those who used to wake up early.
- Good health especially in mental health. It improves one’s happiness.
- Productivity at work – It boosts the energy and creativeness in a person. This enhances productivity at work.
- Form of exercise. Cycling is a good exercise for the body.
- Reduction risk of contracting covid19 – They may not come into contact with so many people as compared to public transport
Increase in cost of Cleaning Products
The cost of products skyrocketed and most of them went out of stock because of rush to buy products to kill the virus. Suppliers decided to sell products on cash basis with no credit terms. This affected our daily cash flows.
We started making Do It Yourself Cleaning products that will be able to eliminate the virus following the WHO guidelines. We find it easy to eradicate rhino virus that causes common flus. This virus is complicated to eradicate compared to coronavirus. As long the solution has 60% ethanol it can be able to eradicate coronavirus and it’s safe to use at home and in any environment.
Hydrogen peroxide is also a good solution without diluting it for cleaning any surfaces. That way we are able to help our customers in their workspace to make it safe, eco-friendly, relaxing and giving them peace of mind to concentrate on their core business.
Standard Operating Procedures
With the deadly virus that is everywhere and in every surface that is invisible, no color, odor and spread mysteriously like bush fire, we had to develop some standard operating procedures in order to fight this virus.
We developed a checklist to ensure that everybody frequently cleaned the hotspot areas (light switch, telephone heads, keyboard, mouse, desktops, workstations, door handles, staircase rail, toilet flash handles) after every 3hours.
We got a house keeping candy box and separated with color codes i.e. red, green, blue. We did away with plastic bottles and used the reusable ones that is eco friendly. All the cleaning products are kept in one candy box with various cleaning solutions. The red color coded solution is for killing the virus on hotspot areas, green is for the windows and the cloth used to clean is also green and finally blue color coded solution is for polishing of wooden surfaces.