How KBL’s water savings are quenching communities’ thirst

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East African Breweries Limited (EABL) Foundation is investing in community projects providing access to clean water in Kenya.

This is done by ploughing back some of the profits made by Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) to empower communities to become self-sustaining.

In creating partnerships, the EABL Foundation is working with AMREF as part of a larger programme dubbed ‘Water of Life’.

KBL, through the Water of Life programme, has managed to impact over 2.5 million lives in Kenya.

EABL Foundation’s Water of Life initiative

The Water of Life programme is inspired by Sustainable Development Goal #6 that advocates for access to clean water and sanitation.

“Our approach is collaborative and inclusive, that is why we work in close partnership with communities, technical partners and reputable development organizations such as AMREF, Global Peace Foundation and Nature Kenya,” the Foundation states.

It adds, “We are also guided by the UN Women Empowerment principles that encourage the promotion of equality through community initiatives. Our programmes largely target women as they notably bear the heaviest brunt of water scarcity challenges.”

Some of the water projects that EABL has launched include the Buchenge Water Project in Kericho County. The project compromises of a 100,000-litre water tank and 5km water piping.

This initiative provides water to over 5,000 residents.

The other project provides a reliable and affordable water supply in Olguluuic/Ololarashi. This borehole serves approximately 11,000 people and 20,000 livestock in a Maasai community in Kajiado.

Traders along the Nyeri- Nyahururu Highway have access to safe water at the Mweiga Ablution Block in Nyeri County. This water project provides access to basic sanitation facilities to more than 21,000 traders.

In Sigona Ward in Kiambu County, over 20,000 residents benefit from the Kerwa Water Project. The 30-cubic-metre borehole provides the community with clean and safe water.

Makueni County which has suffered recurrent hunger for decades now enjoys unprecedented agricultural productivity.

The Kiaoni Water Project delivers clean and safe water for drinking to over 7,000 residents.

Water usage, recycling at KBL

The EABL Kenya site is in the Top-5-Ranking of the global beer sites with regards to delivering efficiencies on water and energy used per litre of beer produced.

Throughout its sites, EABL works to improve water and energy efficiency.

“Our environmental sustainability programmes address local water challenges through increased water and energy efficiency.”

This is achieved through a combination of employee engagement, operational efficiencies and creative engineering projects, including an innovative water recovery system.

Within the Diageo GB & SCA region, the EABL Kenya site continues to be the most efficient. It holds the first position in regard to delivering the lowest cost conversion cost per litre of beer produced. It is also ranked the second-best in regards to the highest packaging line operating efficiency. Only EABL Kenya’s sister site in Uganda leads in this category.

KBL commits to equipping suppliers with tools to protect water resources in the most stressed locations. As a beverage company, water is an essential ingredient in all the company’s brands.

In the last two years, KBL has reduced water consumption per litre of beer by 25 per cent. In 2016, this ratio further improved to 23 per cent. Their target is to reduce the same to 10 per cent by 2020.

Conscious of its obligation to ensure that the water flowing from the plant is safe, the factory has invested in a 7 million water treatment plant on the site. This is one of the biggest in the region.

Each day, 3 million litres of water is treated to the highest standard and then allowed to flow into the Nairobi River.

How EABL Foundation’s projects are implemented

The Foundation works with our partners, local stakeholders and the communities themselves by providing local jobs, building local talent and leadership.

KBL contributes to community sustainability, fostering an enterprise culture throughout their value chain, sourcing from local businesses where feasible and addressing local concerns through community investment programmes.

“We undertake this through our community investment strategy that supports a wider, holistic approach to local economic development.”

Since many communities in East Africa have no access to clean and safe water, the EABL Foundation continuously partners with various agencies in the provision of the commodity.

Communities living in water-stressed areas suffer from a lack of rainfall and poor infrastructure.

Through our Water of Life programme, EABL supports projects that help combat water poverty by improving access to clean drinking water and sanitation.

“We continue to invest heavily in water projects that have a positive and long-term impact on thousands of people by reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases and by releasing time otherwise spent by women and children in search of water for alternative income-generating activities.”

Read: Access to Basic Drinking Water in East Africa

I have 10 years of experience in multimedia journalism and I use the skills I have gained over this time to meet and ensure goal-surpassing editorial performance. Africa is my business and development on the continent is my heartbeat. Do you have a development story that has to be told? Reach me at njenga.h@theexchange.africa and we can showcase Africa together.

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