Community receives water access from beverage company

TSHIKOTA, 18 March 2020 – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa has launched “Coke Ville” the first of its off-grid, solar-powered groundwater harvesting and treatment projects to commemorate National Water Week.

Coke Ville comprise three boreholes, which will provide the Tshikota village community with a maximum of 157 200 litres of water per day, equating to a maximum of 57 378 000 litres of water per year. The combined systems have the potential to provide sufficient water for at least 2 000 households.

“The community of Tshikota township, just outside Louis Trichardt in Limpopo has been hit by water shortages which has resulted in community unrest.” says Tsholofelo Mqhayi, Head of Enterprise and Community Development at Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA). “As a result, we initiated a groundwater harvesting project in the area, supported by the Makhado Local to build three state-of-the-art solar-powered borehole systems.”

Globally, more than 660 million people do not have access to clean drinking water. At a more local context, Lepelle Water recently announced that over 100 villages in the Limpopo Province do not have access to clean running water. The current gaps in access to water, sanitation and hygiene pose a great risk to society, businesses and the economy. While the Government has allocated R3.5 billion to address the water situation in Giyani, also in Limpopo, many communities within the province are still without access to water.

“No organisation can solve the world’s water issues alone, but through innovative partnerships, this vital shared resource can be protected,” Mqhayi says. “The most effective work happens when there is collaboration across the public and private spheres for the benefit of the local communities.

“CCBSA fully understands the impact of the lack of water within communities, that is why we aim to empower people through equitable access to safe water, sanitation and improved climate resilience. Using partnerships and our expertise to protect water resources across our value chain is critical to our business because we cannot do it alone,” Mqhayi says.

Groundwater use has increased by an average of 0,6% per year during the past three years. However, only about 40% (or 3 billion cubic metres per year) of available groundwater is used. By supporting the Tshikota township with groundwater, CCBSA is helping to improve community resilience to water-related climate change impacts.

“Through this initiative, we hope to strengthen safe water access and sanitation in humanitarian relief to help communities stay healthy and recover from disasters faster and hopefully inspire people to participate in water protection, access and conservation.” Mqhayi concluded.