THE COCA-COLA COMPANY COMMITS US$30 MILLION TO CLEAN WATER PROJECTS ACROSS AFRICA
ATLANTA, March 16, 2009 - The Coca-Cola Company announced today that it has committed US $30MM 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-ColaAfrica 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 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. 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.
"No single organization can resolve Africa’s development challenges, but together with civic society, nongovernmental organizations and government we can make a positive difference in the lives of the people who make up our communities," said William Asiko, President of TheCoca-Cola Africa Foundation. 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. They also contribute to The Coca-ColaCompany’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. The Company’s strategy for achieving that goal has three components:
I am creating awareness with a view to fund raise for the construction of bore hole projects in areas of the country where clean water is not easily accessible. Am also inviting like minded persons who would like to do same for their community to partner with me. I am also planning to appeal to international charitable Organisations and groups for expert advice and support. Too many young and elderly have died from dirty water related diseases and many more are seriously ill, others are going blind. Please team up with and lets give something back to the society that bore and raised us. Starting with my constituency, Estako west, we aim to construct over 50 bore holes in all the towns and villages especially closer to schools and health centres, as well as the major markets. We are also aiming at raising an initial amount of £30,000. Also on my proposed visit to Nigeria this October 09, I will scout around for more information. So watch this space as I will update on the out come.
"We all need to be concerned about the issue of safe drinking water. More people have died of unsave drinking water than any other kind of epidemic on earth. More people die of it even today. Greatest hit areas are Africa, Asia and South America."