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 have loosened and tightened in the past though they remain quite stable currently. 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 month or so. The government of Nepal took strong and early action to combat the potential spread of coronavirus, however it’s possible that without any financial support they depleted the public’s resources and 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. Given the fact that these restrictions have remained steady while case numbers have gotten 30x higher it seems unlikely that the government will return to their previous level of intense lockdown and that we will be able to continue our operations, albeit in a reduced manner.
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 has fluctuated somewhat but is seeming more steady now with cargo services being available every week or so which is very close to the frequency that we have shipped our knives out previously. We’re currently able to ship all of our single edged knife styles though DHL through a special exemption, though it may be withdrawn in future in which case we’ll need to find a new solution for any of our blades which aren’t traditional khukuris. For double edged blades we are still hunting for solutions so these are being manufactured chronologically and then held until we can work it out.
Our workshop has been affected for over a month and a half by total work stoppages, however on the 7th of may the government opened up work in the industrial sector and we have been able to resume workshop production. Despite the amount of infections skyrocketing, work restrictions have remained at the same level for our industry. We’re able to work with correct masks, hygiene and procedures etc and do not have enough staff to run into density issues in our workplace. At the start of this crisis though our blacksmiths headed back to their local villages to wait things out, as is standard in times of disaster. However due to interzone travel restrictions the majority of our smiths have not been able to return to work. We’re keeping them supported with a retainer for the foreseeable future and hopefully after these issues lift we’ll be able to return quite rapidly to our normal turnaround times. Another issue we’re facing is that Nepal is quite reliant on trade with India and China for medicine, fuel, etc but also for metals and grinding wheels and other essentials like glue. As the border has remained closed, these items are becoming increasingly scarce within Nepal. So far we’ve been able to utilise our skills to restock locally and trade with others who have different stockpiles but it’s possible we may run into such issues in future. As soon as the freight hold is lifted we should be all sorted though, as we recently did a huge buy from an indian market town with all our essentials.
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 has grown slightly since our last update due to an upswing in orders, but we’re suggesting a wait time of approximately 11-16 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