Gaborone – The Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) has secured a precious supply of free water after Coca-Cola Beverages Botswana (CCBB) committed to donating water from its newly installed water treatment plant for agricultural irrigation at the campus.
The parties shared the news at a ceremony where they signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the agreement.
This comes after CCBB, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, unveiled a new state-of-the-art production line and water treatment plant earlier this year, representing a total investment of P310 million which has significantly increased the factory’s production capacity and made the company fully effluent compliant by ensuring that clean water is returned to the environment.
The new facilities were constructed using local suppliers as far as possible, including the large water tanks and the water reticulation machinery.
CCBB General Manager, David Chait, said water was a priority for the company because it is vital to its business and critical to public health, food security, biodiversity and climate resilience.
“We have a responsibility to address water stress, protect local water resources and help build community climate resilience,” Chait said.
Professor Ketlhatlogile Mosepele, Vice Chancellor of BUAN reiterated, “ Water is a shared resource that binds communities, businesses, and the world around us. This MOU is an acknowledgment that we can achieve more when we work together, that we should break down these self-contrived silos amongst us and collaborate for the benefit of our communities. It is a commitment to addressing the very nature of water, reducing shared water challenges, enhancing community water resilience, and improving water-based health.”
“Our 2030 water strategy is focused on accelerating the actions needed to increase water security where we operate, source ingredients and touch people’s lives,” said Chait.
“CCBB is focused on good water stewardship, starting within our operations, and extending to the communities where we work. We invest in initiatives to reduce the amount of water used in making beverages and to treat and reuse water where possible. We also work to preserve nature and biodiversity and promote advanced water management practices.
“A key aspect of the strategy is replenishing the water used in our products. This means that, for the amount of water used in finished beverages, our aspiration is that the same amount is returned to nature and communities.
“The MOU we have signed with the university today is an example of how we put our water strategy into practice, replenishing water and giving it back,” said Chait.
“We want our business and the communities we serve to benefit from greater shared opportunity. This is about more than the bottom line, because opportunity is not measured by money alone. Opportunity means a better future for people across the African continent.”