Coca-Cola Pledges $30 Million to Clean Water Projects in Africa
March 17, 2009, Philanthropy News Digest — The Coca-Cola Company has announced that it has committed $30 million over six years through its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) to provide at least two million Africans with clean water and sanitation.
To achieve its goals, the company will work to improve water efficiency in countries where the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation has water projects by 20 percent within three years; return all water the company uses for manufacturing processes to the environment at a level that supports aquatic life and agriculture by the end of 2010; and expand its support of healthy watersheds and sustainable community water programs to balance the water used in its finished products. The foundation currently has projects in Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cote d' Ivoire, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zambia
According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million Africans lack access to safe drinking water, and millions die each year from preventable waterborne illnesses. What's more, up to half of the region's population 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.
"Having access to clean water still remains a luxury, not a given, in large parts of the continent," said William Asiko, president of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. "RAIN helps us both fulfill our environmental goals while also providing health benefits that will allow our communities and our business to grow and prosper."