National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Thyolo office on Monday engaged Minibus touts in the district with messages concerning Covid-19 prevention.
NICE Civic Education Officer for Thyolo Moses Kaunda said he decided to engage the call-boys after observing that they are not following Covid-19 preventive measures such as social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks.
Kaunda said after meeting the committee for Minibus call-boys in Thyolo that the callboys are willing to follow preventive measures but lack money to buy materials such as buckets, soap and face masks.
“You know Minibus call-boys in Thyolo district interact with so many people every day in their lives hence engaging them to observe some preventive measures in course of discharging their duties. But they highly need assistance such as water buckets.
“We are calling on well-wishers to come forward and assist these Minibus call-boys with buckets and soap so that they can put in strategic places or even help them with face masks if possible,” said Kaunda.
With financial assistance from government of Malawi, NICE Thyolo office is also carrying out Covid-19 sensitization in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mbawera, Khwethemule, Nanseta and Ndalama.
Kaunda said: The T/As targeted are far much behind in accessing Covid-19 messages according to Thyolo Health Office hence using loud mobile van to reach many people at once. This is a continuous campaign as it has no time frame.
“In these TAs, we are also meeting Chiefs and encouraging them to tell their subjects to use locally made face masks as one way of protecting themselves from Covid-19 and also to use any soap when washing their hands,” he said.
Gift Namanya, Chairperson of Minibus callboys in Thyolo, commended NICE for engaging them saying it is the first time for them to be approached with Covid-19 messages.
Namanya said now he has clear picture of what Covid-19 is all about such that he will spread the message to fellow members around Thyolo and see how to move forward.
“Our challenge is where to find buckets, soap and masks for our members to use. I am in-charge of 36 people but we are many. If well-wishers can assist us with these materials it will be better. NICE has done its part and we are satisfied,” said Namanya.
Namanya has since challenged his fellow executive members to be in forefront adhering to Covid-19 preventive measures saying others can emulate example from them.
Meanwhile, Kaunda has urged people in the district to observe social distance and that they should change their way of living and stay home where possible adding that parents should control children.
He has encouraged chiefs to come up with bylaws to ensure that those who break Covid-19 preventive measures should be brought to book.