The “K” Word
Grind Types, Warranties and Blems
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Hey there all, On the 23rd march, in an attempt to suppress the spread of Coronavirus the Government of Nepal initiated a lockdown of the country which included both heavy travel restrictions/border closures and work stoppages. These restrictions loosened recently but then tightened up again once more in the face of a worsening coronavirus situation. It’s not possible to know how long they’ll last, however they have already created a large backlog of orders and both the current and residual effects are expected to impact the consistency and timeliness of us shipping orders for a few months to come.
Case numbers in Nepal are low compared to the rest of the world, but while many countries have experienced their first wave of cases and have successfully flattened the curve, our situation has only just hit extreme exponential growth in the last few weeks. The government of Nepal took strong and early action to combat the potential spread of coronavirus, however it’s possible they depleted the public’s tolerance of these very harsh measures too early. This may have led to reduced adherence in the last few weeks and in turn the sudden and serious surge in cases that we’re currently dealing with. While it’s always possible that a portion of these increased case numbers have come through higher testing and a revealing of older cases in new areas due to reduced movement restrictions all signs currently point to the shape of the situation having worsened significantly and to worsen even more in the near future. While the government already reinstated their most potent previous restrictions it’s not clear if they’ll choose to tighten them more in the face of growing numbers or loosen them to provide more normality considering the harshness of them was not fully effective previously.
This national lockdown extends to school and bus closures but of particular note is a closure of its borders to both people and goods. For our shipping this restriction was lifted recently but then was reinstated almost immediately. We managed to get a good deal of orders shipped during this time and it seems that the situation for the foreseeable future will be one of regular shipping windows opening every couple of weeks where we’ll bulk ship all orders we can. The next will be on the 28th and we’ll be able to ship our traditional khukuris for certain, though it’s not clear regarding western blades and bowies etc.
Our workshop has been affected for over a month and a half by total work stoppages, however on the 7th of may the government has just opened up work in the industrial sector and we are now able to begin workshop production again, albeit with a reduced workforce to avoid crowding and reduce potential transmission. We’ll be able to have two smiths working simultaneously at most for the timebeing, which when paired with the reduced amount of new orders coming in should allow us to process current orders while slowly reducing the turnaround time on future orders. Despite the increase in coronavirus cases, this has not been reinstated and we’re continuing to work as best we can. This may change in future though depending on the government’s stance to increasing cases though. The rest of our smiths are currently in the villages they grew up in and interzone travel restrictions may make it difficult for them to return and for us to increase production capacity as a result. Another potential issue is that Nepal is quite reliant on trade with India and China for medicine, fuel, etc but also for metals and grinding wheels etc. As the border has remained closed, these items are becoming increasingly scarce within Nepal. We may face a shortage of these essential workshop materials in future which would add further delays and complexity to the flow of the workshop. We’ll keep you updated on these factors as they develop.
It’s very important to the livelihoods of our staff and our community that we continue taking orders and normally as possible, but we’ll need the support and understanding of our customers. The amount of actual delay on orders from this is still somewhat unclear, but we’re suggesting a wait time of approximately 9-14 weeks from the date of having placed the order with the potential for that to double should the situation worsen. For any customers affected we’ll be sending out emails with any changes to the situation here and what it’ll mean for orders. The reduced workload will also allow us the opportunity to improve our systems and work on website upgrades, so on the other side of this you can expect to see a Kailash that’s stronger than ever. Thanks and take care, The Team at Kailash Blades