Health

Coca-cola secures clean water for over 6 million Africans

 

By Nyasha Mutena

Over 4,000 communities in 41 African Countries are accessing clean water and sanitization through the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN).

Water security is critical to building resilient communities and economic empowerment across Africa. As part of its week-long celebration of World Water Day (March 22), The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) announced the achievement of the Replenish Africa Initiative’s (RAIN) current goal to improve access to clean water for 6 million people.

RAIN, launched in 2009, is TCCF’s flagship clean water program in Africa contributing to helping countries across the continent achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6).

As part of the 2021 World Water Day celebrations, RAIN partners gathered virtually today 25 March 2021 for a panel discussion to mark the achievement of the program and share best practices for replication from the program.

“RAIN is a testament to the power of collective action. Working with our partners, RAIN’s transformative impact can be felt today in 4,000 African communities.

“This program drives impact for the Sustainable Development Goals and our focus on People, Communities, and the Environment,” The Coca-Cola Foundation Chair and President Bea Perez said.

Over the course of the past decade, RAIN has improved access to clean water for communities, schools, and clinics across 41 African countries as well as enhanced access to hygiene and promoted better hygiene behaviors. The program has also created opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship, and skills generation.

In addition, RAIN has helped to protect critical watersheds, supported several African utilities in coping with the rapidly growing water demand in cities, and delivered essential hygiene items and personal protective equipment to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

RAIN emphasizes partnerships with urban and peri-urban utilities to help increase their capacity to better serve Africa’s expanding urban environments.

It advocates acceleration of integrated water resources management efforts to decrease stress on food production, water supply and sanitation services;

Enhancing source protection for priority watersheds that serve the drinking water needs of millions of Africans;

Addressing the gender gap and focusing on the needs of women who play a critical role in community resilience and are uniquely empowered by WASH access.

Improving the collection, accessibility, sharing and use of data to monitor WASH services, improve performance, planning and decision making and;

Supporting civil society and communities to help build resilience to water-related climate change impacts.

President for The Coca-Cola Company’s Africa operating unit, Bruno Pietracci had this to say;

“Africa is experiencing the highest rate of urban growth globally and is home to 21 of the world’s 30 fastest-growing cities. It is also more vulnerable to climate change than any other region. The Coca-Cola Foundation is committed to working with communities and governments to enhance climate change adaptation and help address the challenges that urbanization creates for the delivery of clean water and sanitation throughout the continent.”

The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has given back more than $1 billion to enable the empowerment of women, enhance communities, protect the environment and educate scholars around the world.

The Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), established in 1988, is a leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to accelerate sustainable development through partnerships that deliver impact at scale.

GETF builds and manages high impact public-private partnerships improving the lives of over 10 million people in 77 countries through water access, sanitation and hygiene, health systems strengthening, entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, sustainable agriculture and climate resilience.

Partnership platforms under GETF’s management include the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), The Coca-Cola Foundation’s signature community water initiative, the Water and Development Alliance (WADA), and Project Last Mile Partnership (PLM) both partnerships between The Coca-Cola Company and USAID. GETF serves as the Secretariat for two high-impact water coalitions – Global Water Challenge and the US Water Partnership.