In its attempts to reduce plastic water bottle usage and promote environmental conservation in Botswana, Wilderness Safaris Botswana achieved its target of 76 percent reduction on plastic bottle usage in 2017.
The company has been awarded the winner of National Energy Globe Award Botswana for its innovation in wastewater management and water conservation through the reduction of plastic water bottles. In 2012, the company identified plastic water bottle usage as a challenge that needed to be addressed due to the effects of production and disposal of plastic bottles, as well as the carbon emissions and cost of distributing the water into and out of camps, which are located in remote wilderness areas.
An initial five-year water conservation strategy was launched that year, with a key target to reduce the group’s bottled water usage per guest bednight to a group average of 0.8 litres by the end of the 2017 financial year. Wilderness Safaris Botswana Environmental Manager, Segametsi Monnamorwa said since the start of the project, they managed to bring down the total number of the plastic 500 ml water bottles used in Botswana camps from 128 870 in 2012 to 42 966 in 2018.
“Not only were we delighted to hit our first target at the end of 2017, we have since achieved a total reduction of 76 percent across the Wilderness Group, with an average of 0.5 litres per bednight as of 2018. As the leaders in authentic and sustainable ecotourism we are constantly thinking of ways in which we can minimise impact produced by waste,” said Monnamorwa.
In addition to the Bottled Water Strategy, they have also renewed their efforts on effective waste separation at all camps, going to great lengths to ensure that recyclable materials, including plastic, are recycled and not placed in a landfill. “We have also just launched an active campaign in Botswana to reduce the use of packaging and plastic wrap across all camps, sourcing locally-produced fresh produce wherever possible and setting up agreements with suppliers to recycle and reuse packaging material; and most recently banning the use of plastic straws,” said Morwamonna.
The Energy Globe Awards were founded in 1999 by Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann and are today considered one of the world’s most prestigious environmental awards.
The programme is under the patronage of UNESCO and is conducted in cooperation with UNEP. This year, more than 2 000 entries were received from 182 countries, each of which was evaluated by high-profile experts from the Energy Globe evaluation committee. Meanwhile the government of Botswana recently announced the ban on the use of plastic carrier bags to curb environmental pollution.
Cell City rewards customers
Cell City gave away two Toyota Hilux pick up cars worth about P300 000 and three Hisense televion sets worth P15 000 each to their customers through their annual competition.
In partnership with Hisense and Orange Botswana, Cell City conducts annual competitions to reward their customers and contribute to citizen empowerment. Handing over the cars on Friday, Cell City Chief Executive Officer, Brian White said through the competition they want to satisfy their customers and give back to the community. “Cell City and Orange clients were given a chance to win either a Toyota Hilux pickup or a Hisense television set.
All they had to do was purchase any Hisense mobile phone from a Cell City or Orange retail outlet and fill in the competition form in the store,” said White.Thato Ntshabele, who won one of the cars told the Business Trends that she bought a Hisense cell phone worth P900. 00.
“I never expected that I can win a car. I was just filling the forms and dropped into the entry box and I forgot about it. I am so happy to receive this prize and I thank Cell City for this opportunity,” said Ntshabele. Another winner, Dimakatso Mmusi expressed his excitement saying he had always wanted a van and he is grateful to Cell City.
“I just bought a cell phone worth P899.00 at Cell City Railpark mall, I never expected anything, and I was just submitting the form as I was requested by the shop assistants. This car is very useful to me,” said Dimakatso.
Smecha chillie hits the shelves
For the love of food and the passion to apply modern technology processes in food manufacturing locally, Kgalaletso Mothoagae established her own brand, Smecha specializing in relishes.
She processes and packages chillie in 325 gramms and 1 litre bottles selling at P50 and P150. She told the Business Trends that she decided to process chillies as it is one of the products that are rarely processed in the food industry.
She started cooking it for home consumption and later started selling to friends and currently the product has gone beyond borders at South African Spar shops and Restaurants. “I couldn’t look for any other vegetable as most of them have already been processed in the market. It is my first product of research in the food industry so I found out that I can do good business with this product. This chillie is free from preservatives but still has extended shelf life of 6 months,” said Mothoagae
The Kanye born young lady studied food technology and has the passion to explore the food processing market in Botswana and contribute to reduce the high food import bill. “I wanted to explore more about food and use my skills to contribute to the development of the local food processing and manufacturing industry. I also wanted to supplement my income at the same time,” said Mothoagae.
She has a degree in Food Technology. She says there is a lot of potential for business growth as there is a demand for the product locally and in South Africa. “My main customers are individuals in homes, they have embraced the product, and they love the taste. There is also a market that has been secured in SA; it is available in several shops like spars and some restaurants”. In future, Mothoagae said she would increase the product range to 10 using various vegetables and flavours.
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