Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, through Century and Rwenzori Bottling Companies, in collaboration with Nyonta Relief has launched a clean water project targeting over 500 vulnerable households in Ndeeba a Kampala suburb.
Supporting the project “Nyonta Tree For Life”, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa will supply 100 ‘Nyonta Kits’ to families in Ndeeba, which will give them clean drinking water for use in their households.
The Nyonta Kit uses gravity to purify over 100 LPD of any water from a freshwater source making it safe for human consumption. The contribution is valued at UGX33million and will go to 500 people in the Ndeeba community.
Conrad van Niekerk, Managing Director of Century and Rwenzori Bottling Companies, said the company’s support to the vulnerable communities was underpinned by the belief that all people around the world deserve a chance to access safe water for life.
“It is therefore critical for us, as part of the world’s leading beverage company, to use water responsibly in our operations and also lead in giving it back. We work to protect local water resources and provide safe, clean drinking water to communities in need,” he said.
He said Water was a key issue for the Coca-Cola system around the world and pledged that the company would continue using water responsibly to ensure that the bottling operations in Uganda reduced water use and supported the provision on safe, clean drinking water to communities.
Explaining the project, Nyonta Relief Patron, Joyce Nabosa Ssebugwawo, said that in Uganda, it is estimated that 33 children die every day due to diarrhoea from contaminated drinking water.
“That is why we launched the ‘Anti33’ campaign; to bring together people and organizations who feel the moral obligation to help reduce the number of children dying of preventable drinking water diseases. We are happy that Coca-Cola Beverages Africa has joined us today,” she said.
Ssebugwawo added that since mothers are the custodians of household health, ensuring the availability of drinking water in homes is their direct responsibility. She encouraged all women to join the campaign.
Having access to clean drinking water is key to a healthy life. Additionally, availability of clean drinking water has the power to encourage gender equality, stable education for children in a home and income generation for mothers who will have ample time since sickness in a home is eliminated.
It is worth noting that millions of people across the world are deprived of this essential need. The issue is particularly problematic in Southern Africa.
According to UNICEF, in Uganda it is estimated that 60% of the population has no access to potable water, leading to the death of 33 children every day.
The Ministry of Water and Environment in July this year presented Coca-Cola Beverages Africa with an award for Water Usage Efficiencies at the Mbarara Plant, after a sector audit covering 24 companies in Uganda.
BY FRANK SEMATA