The Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, a leading consumer packaged goods company and a member of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (CCHBC), has joined the world to celebrate the 2021 World Water Day with a commitment to sustain safe and sustainable water stewardship at its 8 manufacturing plants spread across the country.
This commitment was reiterated by the company at a series of events held in collaboration with stakeholders across Kano, Abuja, Asejire, Lagos and Owerri to commemorate the day.
The bottlers of Coca-Cola brands in Nigeria also pledged to continue with its resolve to secure water availability for communities in water risk areas, while aggressively driving initiatives that support sustainable water practices in Nigeria.
The commemorative event which held in Asejire, Ibadan, on Monday, brought key stakeholders and community leaders together, to highlight the value of water and the role of every stakeholder in managing the valuable resource.
The event was attended by Chairman, Water Corporation of Oyo State, Dr Adebayo Adepoju; Baale of Osegere Village, Chief Raimi Akinsola and Baale of Olukeye Village, Chief Lateef Bakare.
At other events held in Kano State, Imo State, Lagos State and the FCT, NBC further supported the Imo State Water and Sewage Corporation, Kano State Water Board, the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and the Federal Capital Territory Water Board respectively with activities aimed at helping to improve their operations, processes, and delivery to the public.
Commenting on this year’s World Water Day themed ‘Valuing Water’, Public Affairs and Communications Director, NBC, Ekuma Eze, said that, “Since NBC was established 70 years ago, sustainability has continued to be integrated into every aspect of our business, as we look to create and share value for all our stakeholders. We continuously invest in our communities, working together on key environmental and social issues”. He also explained that the company’s articulated ‘Mission 2025’, its sustainability commitment, was designed to achieve sustainable growth, with Water Stewardship as a main pillar, adding that ‘Mission 2025’ is fully aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets.
Furthermore, Eze said, “Water is material to us because it is the most important ingredient we have in our products. Therefore, we aim to be a good steward of water resources in our communities by using water in a socially equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically beneficial way. Therefore, our approach is to reduce our water consumption through stretch reduction targets, recycle wastewater to the levels supporting aquatic life and replenish water by giving back water to underserved communities.
It will interest you to know that all our Plants have functional Effluent Treatment Plants, where process water is treated to support aquatic life before discharging it into government approved sites. We started building our multimillion-euro effluent water treatment plants at a time it was not yet a regulatory issue in Nigeria.
We also help to secure water availability for communities in water stressed areas. For example, in 2019 we partnered with Kano State Water Board to upgrade infrastructure of the Water Board which improved access to potable water for over 1 million people in the state. We have also constructed boreholes in several communities in Lagos, Enugu, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Benue, Kaduna, Oyo, Borno, Abuja and Rivers.
In furtherance of its water stewardship agenda, NBC has also partnered with the USAID Nigeria E-WASH program from 2020, to boost the technical capacity of six state water boards across the country.
To validate our water stewardship strategies, all NBC manufacturing plants have been certified by the prestigious Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard” Eze said.
World Water Day is celebrated every year to emphasise the importance of water and galvanize global efforts for the sustainable management of water resources.