National Beverage Company and Arab Agronomists Association Sign a Financing Agreement for the Treated Industrial Water Reuse Project
Ramallah – Al Hayat Economic - The National Beverage Company Coca-Cola/Cappy (NBC) signed an agreement with the Arab Agronomists Association for the reuse of treated industrial water generated from Al-Tayf Dairy and Food Products Plant and Cappy Plant for the benefit of Agricultural lands in Al Shami valley, Al Kafriyat, Tulkarm Governorate.
Under this agreement, NBC, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF)/Small Grants Program (SGP)/United Nations Development Program (UNDP) shall provide the necessary financial support to complete the project prepared by the Arab Agronomists Association, and it has been approved by the Global Environment Facility Program/Small Grants Program/United Nations Development Program in coordination with the Environment Quality Authority and in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Local Government and Al Kafriyat Municipality.
The signing event at the company's headquarters in Ramallah was attended by Mr. Imad al-Hindi, the General Manager of the National Beverage Company Coca-Cola/Cappy and Al-Tayf Dairy and Food Products; Zakaria Asad, Cappy Plant’s Manager; Bassam Irshid, Candia Plant’s Manager; Nael Al Taweel, the Projects Manager; Issa Hanna Al Shatla, the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Arab Agronomists Association; Omaima Shaltaf, Projects Manager in the Association; and Nadia Al Khudari, the National Coordinator of the Global Environment Facility/Small Grants Program (GEF/SGP/UNDP).
In this regard, Mr. Imad al-Hindi, General Manager of NBC said that: “we are very happy with this fruitful cooperation, which is in line with the Company's vision towards a healthy environment, free of contaminants, and which would enhance cooperative relations between the two sides to support and serve the Palestinian environment." He confirmed that "the Treated Industrial Water Reuse Project will be an added-value and a solution for many problems and will work on providing water suitable for agriculture to the farmers of Al Kafriyat".
"The Company supports this project due to the fact that it is convinced of the role it will achieve the objectives of supporting the Palestinian farmers, and in confirmation of the company’s adopted strategy to sustain environmentally friendly projects.” He added
He went on to say: "commitment to environmental standards and sustainable development is one of the significant and priority issues for NBC’s endeavor, as the Company has translated this through its commitment international standards in rationalizing water, energy consumption and environment protection, in addition to supporting community environment projects and enhancing an environment protection culture through working in effective partnership with local institutions and authorities in various governorates, as well as working on the treatment of industrial water produced by the Company's factories."
Hence, Mr. al-Hindi confirmed that: "NBC has worked over the past years to treat industrial water produced by Cappy and Al-Tayf factories using the latest technologies within international and local standards to be suitable for agricultural use in order to use it to irrigate crops due to its role in the process of reducing water consumption in addition to preserving the environment."
On his part, Issa Hanna Al Shatla, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Agronomists Association, said: “We are proud of this cooperation with NBC, the pioneer in serving the community in all its sectors,” indicating that this project is the best service provided to the residents and farmers of the area, as it enables us to find alternative sources of water suitable for agriculture. Thus, this project will reduce the pressure on other water sources and relieving farmers as well, especially since this area is very encouraging for the cultivation of fruit trees. Moreover, most of the area’s lands are not supplied with agricultural water, in addition to preserving the health and safety of the area’s residents from harmful factory water.
On her part, Nadia Al Khudari, the National Coordinator of the Small Grants Program, stated: “supporting the project is among the priorities of the program aiming to emphasize the interest in projects that have a positive impact on the environment.” Furthermore, she indicated the importance to support civil society institutions for projects that would preserve the environment and develop agricultural areas and small projects in Palestine. She confirmed: “this project will contribute to empowering farmers for exercising their work on their lands, ensuring that cultivated land will not be polluted, and achieving sustainable productivity.”
The project aims to establish a tank with a capacity of 250 cubic meters at the first stage, another tank with the same capacity will be added in the second stage, and a network of transport lines for agricultural lands. Thus, the agricultural lands with an estimated area of 100 dunums will be supplied with treated water in the village of Kafr Jamal, south of Tulkarm.
Furthermore, the project will have the capacity to accommodate any additional water produced by the plants, and fulfills the required specifications, as the need for water in the area is greater than what is available. In addition, the project will also help farmers wishing to exploit the water and solve the problem of its drainage in the valley as well as all related problems such as the spread of diseases, rodents and pigs and the flooding of some lands. Thus, the treated water, conforming to Palestinian specifications and tested twice a month, will irrigate tens of dunums planted with olives, irrigated trees and bushes.
Accordingly, about 11 male and female farmers will get benefit from this project at its first phase, the number of beneficiaries will be increased to 25 male and female farmers in the second phase.
Furthermore, the National Beverage Company seeks to promote projects that operate according to the principle of environment preservation and the utilization of available resources. It is worth mentioning that the company has recently won the gold award for its project in the Quality, Food, Occupational Safety and Environmental Safety Competition organized by Coca-Cola Middle East and Eurasia.