While Nyumba ya Masambiro and Phunzira have had to put the majority of their activities on a complete hold during the global Coronavirus pandemic, we have made the decision, in conjunction with NYM, to keep the Maize Mill open with a new set of rules to implement strict social distancing and hygiene practices to protect both the customers and staff. Residents of Ruarwe, given its remote location, do not have access to any shops or market places for food. They grow their own, occasionally barter and trade, and rely heavily on government-subsidised maize for their daily nutrition. The Maize Mill is therefore essential for food security.
We are delighted that, since the opening of the Maize Mill, a steady flow of customers continues to come on a daily basis to mill their maize. To make sure that everyone remains as safe as possible, customers currently queue outside the milling house with minimum 1 meter distancing from person to person. As they approach the milling building they wash their hands with the soap and water provided for them. The miller and cashier each have a personal handwashing station within the milling house and they wash their hands between each customer interaction.
We are delighted that NYM is able to maintain the Maize Milling service safely at this time, and we will continue to monitor the situation in Malawi and will make changes where necessary.