Coca-Cola to implement $30m safe water drive
Dubai, March 25, 2009
The Coca-Cola Company has committed $30 million over the next six years to provide access to safe drinking water for communities throughout Africa.
The company plans to achieve this objective through its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN).
Implemented by the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, RAIN will provide at least two million Africans with clean water and sanitation by 2015.
'Africa's water crisis threatens the health of its population and, therefore, its prospects for economic growth,” said Muhtar Kent, president and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company.
“Communities need strong, healthy people to thrive, and our business needs strong, healthy communities to grow and be sustainable,” he added.
“Helping African communities tackle their water challenges is an important priority for our Company and our bottling partners, and is an area where we can make a positive and lasting impact.'
According to WHO, more than 300 million Africans lack access to safe drinking water, and millions of them die each year from preventable waterborne illnesses. Up to half of the region's population at any one time suffers from diseases related to unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation.
Between 2004 and 2015, the number of people living without access to safe water in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase by 47 million people.
Africa is expected to miss the UN’s millennium development goals target for access to clean drinking water by 111 million people and the sanitation target by 289 million.
William Asiko, president of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, said: 'No single organisation can resolve Africa's development challenges, but together with civic society, non-governmental organizations and government, we can make a positive difference in the lives of the people who make up our communities.”
The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation currently has water projects in 19 African countries -- Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cote d' Ivoire, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia -- reaching over 300,000 people.
The water projects are all implemented in partnership with local communities in each country. They also contribute to the Coca-Cola Company's aspirational water stewardship goal of returning to communities and to nature an amount of water equivalent to what we use in all of our beverages and their production.
Coca-Cola’s strategy for achieving that goal has three components:
• Reduce - Improving water efficiency by 20 per cent by 2012, compared to a baseline year 2004.
• Recycle - Returning all water the Company uses for manufacturing processes to the environment at a level that supports aquatic life and agriculture by the end of 2010.
• Replenish - Expanding the Company's support of healthy watersheds and sustainable community water programs to balance the water used in its finished beverages.
'Having access to clean water still remains a luxury, not a given, in large parts of the continent. RAIN helps us both fulfill our environmental goals while also providing health benefits that will allow our communities and our business to grow and prosper,' Asiko added. – TradeArabia News Service