What is this about?
Globally, one in three people live without sanitation, which causes unnecessary disease and death. Although huge strides have been made across the world regarding access to clean drinking water, lack of sanitation is undermining these advances. If we provide affordable equipment and education in hygiene practices, we can stop this senseless suffering and loss of life.
Plantations account for 3% of total water use in South Africa, while agriculture and crop irrigation use approximately 60%.
Water management is included in our mill operational environmental management plans, which are reviewed and updated annually. We have prioritised water-use efficiency in our mills – for example, Vulindlela, our expansion project at Saiccor Mill, will result in this metric improving by 17%. Since 2014, we have reduced specific water usage by 18.1%.
We make water available to neighbouring communities, providing the Bhamjees informal settlement close to Ngodwana Mill with treated water. During the recent drought, Lomati Mill sent water tankers to the local community.
We have also established a water stewardship working group which is currently assessing the risk and mitigation actions related to all our mills and forestry operations, as well as to our neighbouring communities.
In addition, we are partnering with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) South Africa on a water stewardship project in the uMKhomazi catchment area.
Reduce specific water use by 18%
We strictly avoid spraying near watercourses.
We prevent erosion by using appropriate harvesting and extraction methods.
We regulate drainage and minimise erosion through the appropriate planning and construction of roads to ensure water run-off is not directed straight into rivers.
Our plantations are not irrigated, but use only rainwater.
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