The report is frightening, today, a customer, in a week, consumes more than twenty small bottles of water of 50 cl to which are added the bottles of a liter and a hal An estimate of over 30 Millions bottles are used yearly for tourism industry in Tanzania … Empty bottle recycling channels exist but only absorb a small minority of these bottles. The rest unfortunately ends on the roadside, in open dumps, burnt, scattered by the wind … This invasion of plastics is here as elsewhere a subject that must be tried to treat the best. New technologies in the treatment of water exist, to us to seize them and to offer to our customers, a water of quality in sufficient quantity and “plastic free”.
Interview with Yetro Kimei (Manager of Bashay Rift Lodge, MKSC)
Since the end of 2018, guests at Bashay Rift Lodge have been served filtered water both in the restaurant and in the rooms instead of industrial water in plastic bottles. Why this change?
Tanganyika Expeditions has long been committed to responsible tourism. It has developed a coherent policy in this respect, which includes waste treatment, rainwater harvesting, the installation of electric vehicles, the development of an organic vegetable garden and support for local communities.
However, we found that plastic water bottles represented a considerable volume that was difficult to process in the absence of recycling capacity in the region. Replacing plastic water bottles with filtered natural water is the ideal solution. Especially since Bashay we have a natural water quality. However, we had to proceed in stages: checking the quality of the water; purchase of a filtration system; laboratory and customer testing.
How did the customers react?
Very positively. We suspected that this would be the case, because more and more the customers who visit Tanzania, especially on safari, place the respect of the environment at the top of their concerns. This is also true of the travel agencies we work with. The abandonment of plastic bottles is therefore very strongly supported by our partners and our customers. What’s more, they appreciate the quality and taste of our natural water. Of course, customers who wish can still order bottles of water.
What is the impact of this change?
We found in Bashay a 70% reduction in the consumption of bottled water. By the end of the year, more than a dozen thousand plastic bottles will have been saved and will no longer need to be recycled.
What will be the next steps?
Generalization to other MKSC camps is underway. After checking the quality of the water supplied on the spot, knowing that some are in arid zone, and the setting up of the procedures for the filtering and the service all our camps will soon propose filtered natural water.
This is already the case for the Grumeti Hills lodge, which in addition has set up an integrated system for collecting and filtering rainwater. This is the case of the last camp (Olduvai Ndogo) …
By the end of 2019, all camps will be used for quality filtered water and will have removed much of their plastic bottles.
What’s more, we are thinking about ordering and offering a gourd of travel at the beginning of stay, to each of our customers, who will keep