TANZANIA – Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL), Tanzania’s leading brewing company, has announced a programme worth over TSH. 2.3 billion (US$ 992,000) to support bars and eateries in Dar es Salaam and other major towns to protect their staff and customers against communicable diseases, including Covid-19.
This initiative dubbed “Raise the Bar”, is part of a global Diageo programme to help outlets, and bars recover from COVID-19 and support jobs and communities around the world. Nairobi and Kampala will also benefit.
The fund will roll out over the next two years benefitting over 2,000 outlets and will include practical equipment for outlets to implement new social distancing measures, digital skills training and contactless technology.
SBL’s support comes to light as the world struggles to return to the business from the torment inflicted by the global pandemic.
While everyone wants to transcend the journey from failure to triumph, which as a notion, provides food for thought, SBL has identified conditions critical against all communicable diseases in the country, which include COVID-19.
Dubbed “Raise the Bar” or “Tunyanyuke Pamoja”, it will be a two-year programme starting in July 2021, offering outlets with free access to digital training and support.
According to the company’s Managing Director Mark Ocitti, this initiative by SB also complements the government’s efforts to call on people and businesses to practice good hygiene to prevent themselves from communicable diseases, COVID-19 included.
The “Raise the Bar” program was designed following a survey of bar owners that identified key priorities to support reopening of businesses as hygiene measures, digital support and valuable equipment to transform their operations.
SBL is a key stakeholder against COVID-19 in Tanzania since the first case of the pandemic was reported in the country.
In March 2020, the company partnered with the ministry of health to create COVID-19 awareness to the public by distributing flyers and posters throughout the country.
A month later, SBL donated sanitizers to the Ministry of Health, again supporting the country’s effort to combat the further spread of Covid-19.
The impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality sector has been widespread, with the closure of venues. However, by providing access to free digital support, technology, training and equipment, Diageo aims to help any bar, anywhere, open its doors again.
This comes at a time when South Africa and Botswana have suspended alcohol retail in their territories. This, they say, is a result of the active role played by alcohol in spearheading spread of the virus.
“The suspension of the sale of alcohol is based on the evidence that consumption of alcohol increases the risks posed by COVID-19 due to its negative effects on the adherence to COVID-19 protocols,” Malebogo Kebabonye, Botswana’s Director of Health Services, said.
Botswana has recorded 69,680 cases and 1,125 deaths related to the pandemic while 63,932 people have since recovered from the deadly disease.