Clean drinking water and proper sanitation are taken for granted in many parts of the world – but in rural Africa they are precious commodities. OTTO is intent on providing the people in the Cotton made in Africa growing regions with access to clean water and hygienic living conditions with immediate effect and is working towards achieving this aim in cooperation with the Aid by Trade Foundation, Care Mozambique, the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) with funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and from the cotton trading company Plexus. The total amount being invested in Mozambique by the partners is 300,000 euro.
In the last year alone, OTTO used 1,350 tons of CmiA cotton in its textiles. This corresponds to 33% of their own brands, and the trend continues upwards. From now on, the company is also working on the ground to support the people in the African cotton growing regions of Cotton made in Africa. The joint project “Drop for Life” is a mouthpiece for the partners who are advocating improved water supply, sanitation and hygiene conditions for the rural population and are reaching up to 30,000 people in Mozambique.
Wells and sanitary facilities will have been constructed in at least 16 villages in the Cabo Delgado cotton growing region in Mozambique by mid-2016. Health promotion programs will help to raise awareness of health issues among the local population. The people will learn the importance of clean drinking water and proper sanitation as well as how to build and maintain their own sanitary facilities. Specially appointed committees will make sure that the water points and latrines are used effectively and will liaise with the local village residents.
“The “Drop for Life” project initiatives are aimed mainly at women as they make a major contribution towards improving the living conditions of the rural population. They are the ones who can advocate the importance of clean drinking water and sanitary facilities in their families. So women are accorded a key role in this project,” said Tina Stridde, Managing Director of the Aid by Trade Foundation. Anja Dillenburg, Head of Corporate Responsibility at OTTO also emphasized this point, adding, “when I was out in rural Africa, I noticed that the women and girls are responsible both for the water supply and for the care of family members. In order to fetch water, they often have to walk many kilometers several times every day. Many illnesses are also caused by poor sanitation and lack of access to clean drinking water. Therefore we ensure that the women are relieved of some of the daily burden and that there is a general improvement in the quality of life for the local population.”
Get to know more about it on our project site: Water and Sanitation Project Mozambique.