Project Handover – Elliotdale Rural Water Supply Project

Safe Water
USAID and partners work to improve access to safe water in rural villages.

Aligning corporate social investment with municipal water infrastructure delivery priorities

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Jonathan Timm, Project leader, The Mvula Trust
+27 (0)84 372 3177

The Elliotdale Rural Water Supply Project is to be officially launched at the Nchihana Village, near Elliotdale, by the Executive Mayor of Amathole District Municipality, Alderman Sakhumzi Somyo, at a function to be held on Wednesday, 26 January 2011.

The Coca Cola Company, United States Agency for International Development and Brandhouse have formed an innovative partnership with Amathole District Municipality in the Eastern Cape and The Mvula Trust to improve access to safe water in rural villages surrounding Elliotdale. The partnership has enabled the municipality to integrate corporate social investment funding (which cannot be directly transferred to state institutions) into service delivery priorities, greatly increasing the impact of these funds to support the requirements of sustainable service delivery in an area facing chronic water supply challenges.

USAID Southern Africa’s Deputy Director, Cathy Moore, says: “While South Africa grapples with flooding disasters, USAID appreciates this chance to bring clean, safe water to Eastern Cape families who have not had access before. Dirty water sources contain bacterial and viral contamination that makes people sick. We value our South African and corporate partners uniting to create awareness about the importance of water and sanitation and to do something tangible to deliver it.”

The project, which sees the refurbishment of the Elliotdale Water Treatment works and the construction of over 20km of pipelines and communal standpipes to bring improved water supply to over 1000 households, is designed to integrate with the Xhora Regional Water Scheme, when it is rolled out. The Xhora Regional Water Scheme is currently in its planning phase. While the project team acknowledges that the current project cannot satisfy the huge need for improved water access in the area, it makes a meaningful contribution in providing a building block for the greater scheme, rather than being a stand-alone activity.

Consular General of the United States in Cape Town, Dr. Alberta J. Mayberry, says: “There is nothing more essential, more joyful, more important to life. Clean drinking water is not just a necessity, it is a right, and by working together we will ensure that at least 1000 families get the clean and potable water they deserve. I am absolutely delighted to salute the partnership that has been established between the United States Agency for International Development, the Coca Cola Company, the Amathole Municipality and most of all the people of the Elliotdale region.”

Funding of R2.9 million ($389,000) has been invested by the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) which is a joint initiative of The Coca Cola Company and USAID. Additional funds of R1.2m have been invested by Brandhouse to extend the number of people who will benefit from this project. The total amount raised from donors is therefore R4.1 million. The Amathole District Municipality has committed R1.5 million to the project, effectively leveraging an almost 300% return on investment, through aligning the donor funds with its infrastructure delivery plans and priorities.

The Mvula Trust is acting as the project implementer, working in close consultation with the ADM’s Water Services Manager Mr Mpumelelo Shezi and the head of Operations and Maintenance for Mbashe, Mr Sakhiwo Balfour. Kudec Engineering and Development Services are the consulting engineers and Tembuland Civils Trust has been appointed as contractors. In addition to acting as the project implementer, The Mvula Trust is providing institutional and social development support to the project, working with a water committee made up of representatives from villages benefiting from the project. This committee plays a key role in the project, ensuring that the community voice is heard in allocation and siting of tapstands and that local people are able to access employment opportunities through the project. In addition, Mvula is working with the water committee to improve health and hygiene understanding and awareness in the villages through an interactive theater approach.

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for 50 years.

For more information please contact:

Gail Pullen, Communications Manager, Amathole District Municipality – 082 334 3480

Jonathan Timm, Project leader, The Mvula Trust – 084 372 3177

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