Coca-Cola has partnered with WaterAid to provide safe drinking water to one of the poorest suburbs of Burkina Faso’s capital city, Ouagadougou, in western Africa, and in two rural communities in southern Ethiopia.
Coca-Cola and the international nonprofit say they will work the community and water utility in Burkina Faso to extend existing water pipelines and install new water points that provide treated drinking water. This will help residents reduce the risk of contracting waterborne diseases and reduce the amount of time that women and girls spend walking to get water each day, the partners say.
In Ethiopia, Coca-Cola and WaterAid will help provide drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services to the Dita and Kemba districts of the impoverished Gamo-Gofa zone in the southern part of the country. Water and sanitation-related diseases are rampant in these two districts due to severe seasonal water shortages, the absence of perennial rivers, little surface water and high soil degradation. The Gamo-Gofa highlands, with rugged mountainous terrain, have limited road networks, resulting in water supply coverage for these two districts as low as 5 percent.
The partnership supports the company’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) goals: to help provide safe water access to 2 million people in Africa by 2015, says William Asiko, president of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. The company has also set a goal to replenish 100 percent of the water used in its beverages and their production by 2020.
Last September, Coca-Cola partnered with Deka Research & Development Corporation to deliver millions of liters of clean drinking water to schools, health clinics and community centers in rural regions of Africa and Latin America by the end of 2013. Before entering into this partnership, Coca-Cola and Deka conducted a field trial of Deka’s Slingshot water purification technology at five schools outside Accra, Ghana, in 2011, providing 140,000 liters of clean drinking water to 1,500 school children over a six-month period.
Last month, PepsiCo announced it has achieved its goal — almost three years early — of partnering to provide access to safe water to 3 million people in developing countries and has doubled its original commitment. The company has now pledged to provide access to safe water to an additional 3 million people by the end of 2015.