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Soft drink giant set to make it RAIN billions of litres of water

Home Agriculture Soft drink giant set to make it RAIN billions of litres of...

WITH the effects of climate change including prolonged droughts, extreme weather and higher temperatures already being felt in many regions of South Africa, the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) is helping to ensure billions of litres of water is given back to communities and replenished in nature for the next 10 years.

Funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, RAIN funds five major projects in South Africa to help restore priority catchment areas by removing thirsty, invasive alien plants, while creating valuable employment opportunities for women, youth and families by supporting water-related projects.

“These important water catchment areas feed our communities, towns and cities, yet thirsty alien invasive plants are consuming millions of litres of this precious resource unnecessarily from these areas each year,” said Beatriz R. Perez, Chair and President at The Coca-Cola Foundation.

“As part of our broader water stewardship programme, RAIN is helping to rehabilitate thousands of hectares of land and replenish water while economically empowering families.”

The five projects received $1.25 million (R18,5 million) in grants from The Coca-Cola Foundation in 2019 and have collectively cleared 3,400 hectares of thirsty, invasive alien plant species, which will help replenish an estimated 1,5 billion litres annually for the next 10 years.

Most of these strategic water sources are located in remote areas, with limited economic or skills development opportunities. In addition to the environmental benefits these projects bring, they also focus on creating jobs, upskilling individuals, and providing support and training for sustainable economic opportunities.

Collectively, these projects created 389 jobs in South Africa’s rural, priority catchment areas. The five projects are spread across the country and focus on involving local communities, while addressing water security on a larger scale. Implementing partners provide development expertise and additional resources required to implement the projects sustainably.

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