More than 800 million people around the world lack access to clean drinking water. Women spend 200 million hours each day collecting water. And every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness. These statistics are staggering, and both the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and The Coca-Cola Company are committed to finding new ways for millions to access sustainable clean water and sanitation.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are fundamental pillars to improving the livelihoods and well-being of the poor. Investments in clean water and adequate sanitation lead to improvements in health, school attendance, productivity, and entrepreneurship. MCC has invested $793 million in WASH-related projects in nine of its partner countries. This investment demonstrates the high demand for water security and the sound returns associated with these types of investments.
“There is a link between MCC’s mission to reduce poverty through economic growth and our commitment to expand access to water and sanitation for the world’s poor,” MCC CEO Daniel W. Yohannes said. “The bottom line is that improved access to clean water and reliable sanitation improves lives. We can’t afford not to invest in water and sanitation. True to the MCC principle of country-owned, -led, -designed, and -implemented development solutions, more and more of our partners worldwide are seeking investments in water and sanitation.”
MCC’s WASH investments are contributing to water security around the world. Three countries in particular—Cape Verde, Jordan, and Mozambique—have prioritized water sector development as the primary focus of their MCC compacts. Zambia has also prioritized water and sanitation in its compact development process.
Coca-Cola leads private sector participation in improving water access for communities
Building on its long history of water stewardship, The Coca-Cola Company is responding to global water issues by leaving lasting legacies of water sustainability in Africa and across the world. In response to the severe water challenges faced by the nearly 300 million Africans living without access to clean water, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation introduced the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) in 2009 to provide at least 2 million people in Africa with sustainable access to clean water by 2015. Backed by a $30 million commitment, RAIN, together with its partners addresses the region’s greatest needs through projects that provide clean drinking water, expand access to sanitation and promote hygiene. In this way, RAIN contributes to achieving the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals on water and sanitation.
“Water is a key ingredient in the manufacture of our beverages and is central to the prosperity of communities where we do business. Community water access as a key focus of our sustainability efforts is both central to our business and to our future. The Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) is The Coca-Cola Company’s response to Africa’s water crisis. We believe that our water sustainability efforts are best accomplished by focusing on empowering the communities we work with to become leaders in their own development,” said William Asiko, President of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.
Since 2005, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation has provided safe water access to more than 350,000 people, and the 42 projects supported to date are expected to reach more than 1.3 million beneficiaries across 27 countries. Recognizing the importance of a holistic approach to addressing the continent’s most pressing water challenges, RAIN and its partners have also provided more than 100,000 people with access to sanitation and established more than 100 watershed protection groups across Africa.
The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation continues to advance RAIN objectives by forming strategic partnerships with organizations that seek long-lasting solutions to Africa’s water challenges. In collaboration with various partners, volunteers, patrons, and organizations, RAIN is not just for the immediate future of Africa, but also for the long-term sustainability of its resources.
For more information about MCC and its work around the world, go to www.mcc.gov .
For more information about The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, go to www.tccaf.org.