Clean drinking water
We extract water from milk to produce our milk powders. Consumers then put water back into our products. But clean drinking water cannot be taken for granted in Africa, where many of our consumers live. That is why we finance drinking water projects in Africa, under the motto 'a litre for a litre'. In 2020 we want to produce one litre of clean water in markets with water scarcity in Africa for every litre of water that we extract from the milk for the African consumer market. Our partner Made Blue ensures that the agreed litres that Vreugdenhil evaporates are entirely and measurably matched in making the same quantity of drinking water available in developing countries.
This approach contributes to Sustainable Development Goal number 6: 'Access to clean drinking water and sanitation'. This goal seeks to ensure universal and equal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030.
Well in Ethiopia
We are financing a well in the Ethiopian village of Guramba Bata. The well is approximately 130 metres deep and gives some 4000 residents access to clean drinking water on an ongoing basis for at least 20 years. Over the next 20 years (the technical life of infrastructure), we will produce at least 525 million litres of clean drinking water. The water is led to four consumption points, among which a school and a health centre. A group of people have been trained to maintain the drinking water infrastructure. Coaches have also been trained to encourage people to change their hygiene behaviour. In 2018, we will launch a new clean drinking water project in another region in Africa.
Other projects in developing countries
In addition to our drinking water project, we are also sponsoring other projects, a number of which we will describe in more detail here. In Zimbabwe, we support a teaching farm where young people are trained to set up their own small-scale farm or other agricultural company. Our contribution was put towards the purchase of a solar energy system that supplies the power to milk the cows on the teaching farm. In Congo, we support a project that empowers vulnerable women by improving socio-economic conditions, preventing sexual exploitation and violation of human rights, and raising the issue of the key role of participation of women in local government structures - and where possible realising this. In Colombia, we are sponsoring a project offering primary and secondary education and family coaching to vulnerable families in order to break the vicious circle of poverty and violence.