By Nyasha Mutena
The Coca-Cola Foundation Zimbabwe, DanChurch Aid and the City of Bulawayo, on 4 March 2021 launched the drilling of six boreholes at Emakhandeni worth US$50,000. This is being funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation to improve water and sanitation in the City of Kings as well as provide access to clean and safe water for over 25,000 people in Bulawayo. It will also assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Through an official statement, the philanthropic organization said.
“The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded US$50,000 to DanChurchAid Zimbabwe to implement the much-needed water and sanitation project to provide clean and safe water to the urban poor in selected high-density suburbs of Bulawayo, which will also mitigate the rising COVID-19 cases”.
Meanwhile, the Bulawayo City Council identified and availed the locations in the areas with most need. Bulawayo has perennial water shortages and outbreaks of diarrhea are common in the community as a result of using contaminated and dirty water.
“Coca-Cola and its bottling partners Schweppes and Delta are happy to preside over this ground breaking event as we believe that the project will help to improve the living conditions of the Bulawayo community on the one hand and carry on the well documented traditional friendship between the Coca-Cola System and Bulawayo people on the other,” said Milidzani Ncube, Coca-Cola Zimbabwe Country Manager.
“There is a saying in that, ‘when drinking water, never forget the one who dug the well’. Our busy connection with the Zimbabwean people has always been good and is here to stay,” Ncube added.
The partners are proud to be responding to this water crisis with the implementation of this project that will enable people to access much needed safe and clean water daily. They are collaborating closely to have it completed in record time.
Lack of access to safe water and sanitation services has direct health implications, globally many children die from diarrhoea. Most of these deaths can be prevented through access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and good hygiene. The project, which is scheduled for completion before June 2021 will be the second within a year with Schweppes Zimbabwe, a manufacturer and distributor of non-carbonated still beverages licence from The Coca-Cola Company also partnered with DanChurchAid Zimbabwe support.
In appreciation of the funding, DanChurchAid Country Director, Mads Schack Lindegard lauded the Coca-Cola Foundation for bringing the project to where it is needed the most.
We noted the impact of water projects in such communities and emphasized: “With partners like The CocaCola Foundation and City of Bulawayo, we are changing lives and supporting sustainable community initiatives”.
The Mayor of Bulawayo, Councilor Solomon Mguni welcomed the project which will assist Bulawayo City Council as it it is likely to lift the water shedding programme earlier than scheduled owing to the anticipated improved supply throughout the year.
This water and sanitation project for the urban poor in Bulawayo is focused on addressing the problem of inadequate water and poor sanitation in low-income urban communities to contribute towards a lasting solution.
Through partnerships with service providers including water utilities, local authorities like Bulawayo City Council and the communities, these efforts will strengthen the capacity of service providers to deliver sustainable city-wide water and sanitation services, promote good hygiene and raise the standards of living.
The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world.
“We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide,” said Ncube.
DanChurchAid (DCA) is a Danish faith-based civil society organization founded in 1922 by representatives of the Danish Evangelical Church- a key DanChurchAid constituency.