ZAMBIA – Zambian Breweries has handed over a recreational facility worth over K2 million (US$126,000) to residents of Bauleni township in Lusaka to benefit over 2,000 youths.
The handing over ceremony was graced by the Mayor of Lusaka Miles Sampa, area Member of Parliament Margaret Mwanakatwe and senior community members.
The refurbished Bauleni Youth and Sports Centre is part of the company’s commitment towards combating underage drinking among youth in the country which was launched in May 2018 with an investment of US$1m.
The project is aimed at revamping recreational facilities in different communities of Lusaka which is part of the several public interest commitments Zambian Breweries made to Government in 2015 including supporting socio-economic growth of the country, deepening local sourcing in Zambia through smart agriculture and continued job creation.
According to the company’s press-release, the refurbished facility houses a football pitch, a new water tank, and a refurbished children’s park, youth skills development centre and an ablution block.
“The facility will provide healthier alternative activities for our young people,” said Zambian Breweries Country Director Jose Moran.
Mr Moran urged young people to desist from underage drinking and focus on education and skills development.
“Stay away from alcohol; leave it for adults. Focus on school. Focus on building your life and your career,” he stressed.
He noted that youth was an important time for self-discovery and that the physical environment surrounding young people plays a big role in their development.
Mr Moran reiterated the company’s commitment towards combating underage drinking.
“Zambian Breweries is committed to constructing and revamping youth centres in Lusaka our country and in a bid to address alcohol, drug abuse and unemployment among young people,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Minister of Youth, Sports and Child Development, Hon. Emmanuel Mulenga, in a speech read on his behalf by Director of Sports John Zulu, said underage drinking and other vices were a result of a lack of recreational facilities for young people.
“The lack of adequate recreational facilities is the main reason that compels youth to engage in vices such as underage drinking and use of illicit drugs,” said the minister.
Mr Mulenga applauded Zambian Breweries for renovating the Bauleni Youth and Sports Centre.
“As government, we are always delighted to work closely with corporates such as Zambian Breweries in fostering social development in our country,” he said.
The minister also appealed to management at Zambian Breweries to refurbish and construct more youth centres across the country.
“Extending this project to other parts of the country will keep more young people active and rescue many from underage drinking,” Mr Mulenga explained.
Area Member of Parliament Margaret Mwanakatwe also commended Zambian Breweries for its commitment in serving the communities in which the company operates.
“This facility is a testimony of the many developmental projects Zambian Breweries has carried out for the people of Zambia. Government will continue working with the private sector in promoting social-economic development,” she said.
Mrs Mwanakatwe further alluded to the cassava outgrower scheme in Luapula as one of the key areas in which Zambia Breweries has helped government foster development in rural communities.
Through the project the brewer is adding value for small-scale farmers, ensuring economic diversification, job creation and setting new grounds for agriculture sustainability for the nation.
Zambian Breweries established its cassava project in Luapula in 2016. From inception it has bought more than 15,000 tonnes of dry cassava, giving a total income of over K21 million (US$1.5m) to the small-scale farmers.
The project has grown and recruited more than 6,000 small-scale farmers, with 2,620 farmers registered on the Cheembe / BanQu automated payment system, up from 1,100 registered last year.
The cassava-buying programme has been so successful that it has now been expanded to farmers in the Northern Province.
Other CSR initiatives undertaken by the brewer include promotion of safe water supply and sanitation with the recent donation of US$28,500 towards the Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI).
In addition to that the company has partnered with the Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company (LWSC) in constructing a US$150,000 industrial water borehole in George Compound of Lusaka as part of the company’s 2025 Sustainability goal on water stewardship.