$800,000 grant for Eco Gozo’s water stewardship programme

Coca-Cola, through its international philanthropic leg, The Coca-Cola Foundation, has awarded a grant of $800,000 to a water stewardship programme under the Eco Gozo project.

The programme will be implemented by Coca-Cola and its local bottling partner, General Soft Drinks Co Ltd, in partnership with the Ministry for Gozo and the international NGO Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med), which will also be handling the administration of the project. Nature Trust Malta will be implementing the educational component associated with the programme.

Administered and technically implemented by GWP-Med, the programme will include the installation and repair of rainwater harvesting and non-conventional water systems, educational tools and capacity-building workshops.

Gozo’s capacity to harvest rainwater would rise dramatically as a result of the project and a number of Eco-Gozo projects, a spokesman for the administrators said.

In fact, it was envisaged that the programme would result in the collection and reuse of between four and five million litres of rainwater a year.

Maria Micallef, general manager of General Soft Drinks Co Ltd, admitted it was difficult to secure such a large grant, adding that “the Eco-Gozo project proved to be a credible source of inspiration” to GWP-Med, which then submitted a powerful application to The Coca-Cola Foundation.

Gozo Minister Giovanna Debono explained that, following the successful valley cleaning programme last year, works on the cleaning of another 10 dams in Gozitan valleys was expected to start in the coming days. The Eco-Gozo programme was funding the building of eight reservoirs.

Mrs Debono said a number of sustainable projects were being implemented in nearly all spheres of life in Gozo.

Details of the water stewardship programme are being finalised and will be announced in November during the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

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