Coca-Cola backs African water programs
Atlanta, March 27, 2011
The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation has announced that $6 million will be dedicated to water and sanitation partnerships for improving the lives of nearly 250,000 women and girls in Africa.
Through RAIN, which will provide at least 2 million people with access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015, the program will have an impact on women and girls in African countries including Algeria, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda.
In addition, this year, RAIN will continue to support multi-year initiatives being implemented through the Water and Development Alliance (WADA), The Coca-Cola Company’s partnership with United States Agency for International Development (Usaid) in Angola, Burundi, Egypt, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania.
“The water and sanitation crisis affects billions of people every day, but the impact on women and girls is particularly devastating,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief of The Coca-Cola Company.
“Supporting initiatives that promote access to water for women and girls is a building block for community health with a ripple effect on social and economic empowerment. This is a win-win for everyone.”
The World Health Organization estimates that African women and children spend up to 40 billion hours collecting water each year; time that could otherwise be spent learning, working or caring for their families. Because of the distance many women are required to travel to retrieve clean water, they often resort to using unsafe surface water sources, putting themselves and their families at risk of life-threatening diseases.
Additionally, data from the United Nations show that a child dies every 15 seconds on average from the diarrheal and malnutrition impacts related to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.
In Rwanda, Coca-Cola is working with development organization Water For People and other partners to provide access to water for approximately 17,000 people in the Gahanga and Masaka districts of Kicukiro.
In 2011, the provision of water access in two schools and sanitation access in four schools should help increase the attendance of female learners who often don’t attend school due to the absence of proper sanitation facilities. In addition, 17 new community tap stands in the Gahanga sector will help to decrease the amount of time women and girls spend traveling to collect water.
The RAIN Water for Schools project is providing integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions at 100 South African schools.-TradeArabia News Service