Coca-Cola helps tackle water scarcity in SA

Coca-Cola and its bottling partners are helping improve reliable access to safe water in SA

31 March 2021 - 08:30
Relief water in the Northern Cape.
Relief water in the Northern Cape.
Image: Supplied/Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is focusing on addressing water scarcity through its water stewardship initiatives, highlighting the value of water and the need to protect and conserve it.

These initiatives include improving its overall water-use efficiency in its manufacturing plants and supply chain; partnering with the government and communities to assess, understand and drive effective, long-term water stress solutions; and replenishing the water it uses back to communities and nature.

The Coca-Cola Foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative (Rain) focuses on replenishing water it uses in the making of its beverages in key watersheds by clearing alien invasive plants. These consume millions of litres of water each year, resulting in water shortages and permanent loss to an already stressed water system. 

Since 2019, Rain has worked with partners such as The Nature Conservancy, World Wide Fund for Nature-SA, Living Lands and the Endangered Wildlife Trust to clear 3,400 hectares in SA’s priority catchment areas, helping to replenish more than an estimated 15-billion litres of water into nature over the next decade. The programme also provided employment and skills training for 389 women and young people in SA’s rural areas.  

Elias Elvis Sithole clearing in Soutpansberg, one of SA’s priority catchment area.
Elias Elvis Sithole clearing in Soutpansberg, one of SA’s priority catchment area.
Image: Supplied/Coca-Cola

Expanding on its efforts in the Namakwa and Kakamas district in the Northern Cape, CCPB is now working to provide water relief to Merweville, Laingsburg and Touws River. 

“CCPB is committed to playing its part in supporting the hydration needs in local communities where access to drinking water is limited and has, over the past two years, responded to calls for assistance in water-stressed areas.”

CCPB has delivered more than three-million litres of water using the tankers it invested in during the drought to provide specially produced relief water in 1-litre bottles. 

There is increasing recognition that partnerships between the  government, the private sector, NGOs and communities are needed to improve reliable access to safe water and to protect water resources in a world affected by climate change. By adopting a water stewardship approach, which goes beyond water efficiency practices, Coca-Cola in SA is helping to lead collective action to address water scarcity across the country.

Says Mtikitiki: “We’re confident that through our water stewardship efforts we will continue to make a difference and protect this most valuable resource.”

This article was paid for by Coca-Cola SA.