The Aid by Trade Foundation (AbTF) has launched a collaborative three-year project in Ethiopia to tackle water pollution from the textile and apparel sector.
AbTF, parent of the Cotton Made in Africa (CMiA) initiative, says it will engage with stakeholder groups in water stewardship across the full value chain for the development project entitled: ‘Tackling pollution from the apparel sector through engaging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in water stewardship’.
“The clothing and textile industries are built on a complex value chain involving many actors,” the AbTF says. “Water plays a critical role in each of the clothing and textile production sub-sectors, with large amounts of water and wastewater used and dispersed at each stage. Meanwhile, water stewardship enables water users to work together to identify and achieve common goals for sustainable water management and shared water security.”
Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the AbTF is cooperating with Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), AWS Africa delivery partner Water Witness International, CDP, and Solidaridad Ethiopia.
The project will connect local practice, impacts and evidence generated in Ethiopia with global drivers and levers across the textile and garments sector; from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) serving international supply chains to multinational corporations (MNCs) and global investors.
With its expertise regarding cotton growing and ginning at the beginning of the textile and garment value chain, AbTF will specifically engage in generating replicable action and learnings on water stewardship from within Ethiopia. Together with Solidaridad Ethiopia, AbTF will produce a Water Security Scan Report identifying major water challenges and opportunities for water stewardship in cotton production and initial processing (ginning).
The report will serve to develop water stewardship innovation and action plans. They will form an integral part of applicable training modules for cotton producers and SMEs raising awareness on water stewardship.
Another key output of the project will be knowledge sharing and learning on the interoperability between the AWS Standard and CmiA Standards.
AbTF says the goal of the project is to realise “improved health, livelihoods and environmentally sustainable growth through preferential investment, purchasing, policy and practice for water stewardship throughout Africa’s apparel supply chain”.