Coca-Cola on Thursday pledged an additional $35 million to support sustainable safe water access and sanitation programs for 4 million more people across Africa by 2020.
This new funding builds on an original Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) commitment of $30 million to bring safe water access to 2 million people across the African continent by the end of 2015 made at the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul in 2009. Coca-Cola says this funding will help to improve the lives of more than a total of 6 million Africans through sustainable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) by 2020.
With more than 140 partners, RAIN is a public-private partnership led by The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s (TCCAF) whose programs currently help 2,000 communities through WASH programs in 37 African countries.
Coca-Cola says the expansion builds on the progress RAIN has made toward its goal of improving safe water access for 2 million people across Africa — a goal the company claims it is on track to achieve by the end of 2015. Through the RAIN program expansion, TCCAF and its partners will work to improve sustainable safe water access for 6 million Africans; economically empower up to 250,000 women and youth; promote health and hygiene in thousands of communities, schools, and health centers; and return up to 18.5 billion liters of water to nature and communities.
RAIN and its partners announced programs that will protect watersheds, provide sustainable clean water access and create new opportunities for women and youth entrepreneurs in Africa by the end of 2020. In Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique, for example, a nonprofit will leverage RAIN funding to contribute to city-wide access to improved water services and associated reductions in water and hygiene related diseases in selected cities, benefitting up to 2 million people by 2018.
Coca-Cola also has been engaged with other water projects in Africa. In 2013, TCCAF partnered with WaterAid to increase accessibility to safe drinking water for one of the poorest suburbs of Burkina Faso’s capital city of Ouagadougou and in two rural communities in southern Ethiopia.
Also in 2013, Coca-Cola became one of the first companies to be awarded the Carbon Trust Water Standard, which recognizes companies for consistently measuring, managing and reducing overall water usage in their operations. The company achieved its lowest-ever water-use ratio and reduced its water usage by nearly 15 percent since 2007.