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‘Guinness’ Transforms Garbage Dump To Modern Park 

By Elvis Tah

Guinness Cameroun SA, one of the few brewing companies in Cameroon, has transformed a big public garbage gully in Ndogbong, Bassa, Douala, into a modern, green and clean ravine.
The garbage drain, with a huge depth of 14m long and 30m wide, is situated close to the brewery.

Most of the factories and households in that industrial zone hitherto emptied their sewage into the drain, exposing the residents to some environmental hazards and respiratory diseases due to pollution.  Denizens of this area can now sleep peacefully, with no fear of landslides, stench and squalor. In spite of the threats to human health that the gutter posed to that environment, scavengers were often seen, digging the mess in search for iron and metal objects, thereby exposing themselves to wanton diseases. 

Against this backdrop, Nick Blazquez, Managing Director of Diageo Plc Group (said to be the World’s leading premium drinks business), in Africa, of which Guinness Cameroun SA is an affiliate, on March 2008, requested for an emergency process to arrest the problem of the garbage drain. After an agreement, Guinness Cameroun SA established a partnership with the Douala Urban Council and launched the "ravine project" in order to transform the place and secure the neighbourhood.

The project, which is part of the social responsibility of Guinness, cost FCFA 1.240.000 billion. It started earlier this year and lasted for 9 months. The General Manager, GM, of Guinness Cameroun SA, Steve Gannon, while launching the ravine recently, stated that Guinness is also celebrating its 250th Anniversary this year. He said that the multinational company has also based its Regional Headquarters in Douala, to serve 17 West African Markets.

The GM thanked Diageo for having invested FCFA 1 billion in the project, and all other partners who contributed to its realisation. "This is a significant signal of our long-term commitment to Cameroon. We have high expectations of our business here and given the support of the government, we can achieve even more," said Gannon.

Guinness Cameroun SA

Guinness is a multinational company with headquarters in Dublin. It was established in Cameroon in 1967, as a major player in the beverage industry. Its major brands include Guinness Stout, Satzenbrau, Malta Guinness and Smirnoff Ice.

As an affiliate to Diageo Plc Group, Guinness Cameroun SA is strongly concerned about the group’s challenges, which is to provide water to 1 million people in Africa till 2015. The company, thus far, has provided water to more than 191.400 people and will be targeting 150.000 this year. Its ‘water for life programme’ is aimed at providing water to half a million Cameroonians by 2011. 

According to Guinness Cameroun SA, officials, the brewery, as part of their corporate responsibility, is committed to improving the lives of communities in Cameroon. "As a big actor in the economy, our main role is to stand for a better and green environment". Guinness Cameroun SA, on July 17, participated in a tree planting project with the Douala Urban Council. The occasion was presided over by the Minister of Urban Affairs and Housing, Clobert Tchatat.

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