… Reaches over 4,000 African communities
By Chioma Obinna
To mark this year’s World Water Day, Coca-Cola Foundation , TCCF, said its Replenish Africa Initiative’s (RAIN) has improved improve access to clean water for six million people in Africa while over 4,000 communities in 41 African countries have benefited from the initiative.
Announcing this in a press statement as part of a week-long celebration, the foundation noted that water security was critical to building resilient communities and economic empowerment across Africa.
RAIN, launched in 2009, is TCCF’s flagship clean water program in Africa contributing to helping countries across the continent achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6).
The Foundation further explained that the 6 million person achievement was a result of a collective effort from over 300 international and local public, private and civil society partners.
Highlighting these and more during a virtual gathering of RAIN partners to celebrate 2021 World Water Day, Chair and President, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Bea Perez said: “RAIN is a testament to the power of collective action. Working with our partners, RAIN’s transformative impact can be felt today in 4,000 African communities. This programme drives impact on the Sustainable Development Goals and our focus on People, Communities, and the Environment.”
Perez explained that over the course of the past decade, RAIN has improved access to clean water for communities, schools, and clinics across 41 African countries as well as enhanced access to hygiene and promoted better hygiene behaviours.
“The program has also enabled the economic empowerment of people by creating opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship, and skills generation. In addition, RAIN has helped to protect critical watersheds, supported several African utilities in coping with the rapidly growing water demand in cities, and delivered essential hygiene items and personal protective equipment to help slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Perez added that RAIN has developed a number of important learnings and recommendations, including; emphasize partnerships with urban and peri-urban utilities to help increase their capacity to better serve Africa’s expanding urban environments; accelerate integrated water resources management efforts to decrease stress on food production, water supply and sanitation services; enhance source protection for priority watersheds that serve the drinking water needs of millions of Africans; address the gender gap and focusing on the needs of women who play a critical role in community resilience and are uniquely empowered by WASH access; improve the collection, accessibility, sharing and use of data to monitor WASH services, improve performance, planning and decision making; and support civil society and communities to help build resilience to water-related climate change impacts.
On his part, the President, Coca-Cola Company’s Africa operating unit, Bruno Pietracci, said: “Africa is experiencing the highest rate of urban growth globally and is home to 21 of the world’s 30 fastest-growing cities.
“Africa is also more vulnerable to climate change than any other region. The Coca-Cola Foundation is committed to working with communities and governments to enhance climate change adaptation and help address the challenges that urbanization creates for the delivery of clean water and sanitation throughout the continent.”
The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has given back more than $1 billion to enable the empowerment of women, enhance communities, protect the environment and educate scholars around the world