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SAPA PR--ESKOM DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION SUPPORTS SUSTAINABLE ACCESS TO ...
Dec 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM
ISSUED BY: GROUNDED MEDIA

ATTENTION: NEWS EDITORS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:





ESKOM DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION SUPPORTS SUSTAINABLE ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER FOR 8000 LIMPOPO VILLAGERS.



Nearly 8000 villagers from Ramotshinyadi, outside Tzaneen in Limpopo will for the first time be able to access clean drinking water from boreholes and taps resulting from a water infrastructure upgrade project funded by the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and supported by an electricity network expansion activity funded by the Eskom Development Foundation, a non-profit company (NPC).

As part of its commitment to improving the quality of life of all South Africans where Eskom operates, the Foundation is tasked with and is responsible for the coordination of Eskom's corporate social Investment (CSI) initiatives.

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation granted funding towards the provision of three new boreholes for this community that has been dependent on water contaminated with nitrate which causes waterborne diseases especially amongst new born children within the community.

An estimated 30 to 60 percent of existing rural water and sanitation supply systems are inoperative at any given time.

After Coca-Cola requested Eskom's urgent intervention to assist with the electrification of three new boreholes, the Foundation funded the installation to extend Eskom's electricity network to power the motors and pumps at the three boreholes that supply the water distribution network, helping to ensure sustainable access to clean water for the community.

CEO of the Eskom Development Foundation Haylene Liberty says: "The Foundation is committed to the provision of clean potable water as part of its CSI strategy and to collaborate with other grant-makers in public-private partnerships to ensure meaningful development particularly in more rural and isolated parts of the country.

While these partnerships are unlikely to ever replace traditional infrastructure financing and development, they are an important tool to support government's efforts to address severe infrastructure shortages.

The benefit of this kind of public-private partnership on the local community is significant in terms of community well-being as it relates to human dignity, safety, reduced health care costs and improved household productivity."

The water infrastructure upgrades and network expansion activities of the "Bophelo Ka Metsi" (health through water) project are jointly funded by the Coca-Cola Company and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).Today they are officially handing over the infrastructure to the community at Ramotshinyadi village.

"We were competing for water with the crocodiles," comments Peggy Masetla, the local ward councilor. "As women, we are also often forced to collect water at night and carry heavy loads over long distances. It was not safe at all." This situation has now dramatically improved.

The project included the expansion of the water distribution network, health and hygiene training and HIV/Aids facilitation to help the community address challenges resulting from the high incidence of HIV/Aids, widespread poverty, insufficient supply of clean water and sanitation, and poor hygiene practices.

These challenges contributed to the elevated incidence of waterborne diseases and greatly impacted the health and quality of life in the village. The local municipality rehabilitated non-functional boreholes during construction to ensure the community's water supply was maintained.


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Prepared by:
Grounded Media
Silindile Nyathikazi
Telephone +27 11 544 1900
Email:
For:
Eskom Development Foundation
Chris Bornman
Communication Manager
Telephone +27 11 800 2758
Email:



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