Coca-Cola to Fund Water Access in Africa
The Coca-Cola Company announced March 16 that it has committed US $30 million over the next six years to provide access to safe drinking water to communities throughout Africa through its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN).
Implemented by The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, RAIN will provide at least 2 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 chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “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 the World Health Organization, 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 United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals target for access to clean drinking water by 111 million people and the sanitation target by 289 million.
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.
These water projects are all implemented in partnership with local communities in each country.