Coca-Cola and USAID Partnership to Provide Safe Drinking Water in Western Region, Ghana

November 2017 – On the 21st of November 2017, Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company (ECCBC), in partnership with The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), inaugurated a WaterHealth Center (WHC) in the town of Prestea, Western Region, which will work to provide safe drinking water to approximately 13,000 people in the surrounding community.

The event marked a special milestone as the Prestea WHC is the twelfth Coca-Cola System funded WHC constructed in Ghana under the Safe Water for Africa (SWA) Program, which is part of TCCAF’s flagship water program, the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), in which Equatorial Coca-Cola also participates. The Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) aims to reach at least 6 million people with improved water access, sanitation and hygiene by the end of 2020. RAIN is contributing to help Africa achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals on clean water and sanitation access. To date, RAIN has reached more than 2.6 million people with improved water access, sanitation and hygiene across 38 countries.

The Prestea site also falls under a water access, sanitation and hygiene project funded by the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) between Coca-Cola and USAID.

Implemented by WaterHealth International (WHI), SWA is a partnership between TCCAF, The Diageo Foundation, WHI and Kosmos Energy to provide access to safe, sustainable drinking water to African communities. SWA seeks to work with communities to catalyze the expansion of an innovative water service delivery modelacross the African continent beginning in Ghana and Nigeria in 2011. To date, across Ghana, SWA has improved water access for over 150,000 people through installation of WHCs in 24 communities.

WHCs are small modular structures that house water purification equipment to treat locally available water through a combination of sedimentation, pre-filtration and Ultra Violet technology. Additionally, WHI hires water system operators, typically from the local community, to maintain each system and establishes a Water Board with members of each community to oversee the project. WHI works in partnership with communities to determine the appropriate, affordable, usage fees for the water purification service.

Representatives of the Ghanaian administration, various local businesses, and members of Equatorial Coca-Cola’s team attended the inauguration ceremony of this new WHC.

Attendees included Hon. Mozarc K. Oweh (DCE), Nana Nteboa Pra IV (Chief of Heman), Nana Fredua (Business Development Manager, WHI), Francis Ogunpitan, (GETF consultant), Mr. Bethel Yeboah (Ghana Public Affairs and Communications Manager, ECCBC), Emmanuel Odotei (USAID/Ghana Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Management Specialist), and Sonia Ventosa (Public Affairs and Communications Manager, ECCBC).

“Ghanaians face many infrastructural and knowledge-based obstacles when it comes to accessing water and achieving healthy levels of sanitation. At times, these challenges seem insurmountable, but we believe something can and must be done to improve the situation, even if that means working one community at a time,” Mr. Yeboah remarked in a short speech at the inauguration ceremony. “That is why it is one of the Coca-Cola system key goals to partner with our communities to overcome water and sanitation challenges. It is also why we are so proud that Prestea is joining us in the fight for easier water access and better sanitation for all Ghanaians.”

Since launching activities on the African continent, Equatorial Coca-Cola has been actively involved in the development of the communities in which the company operates. Consequently, Equatorial Coca-Cola participates in diverse projects focused on improving education, access to safe drinking water, entrepreneurial spirit, sustainability and health.

About Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company

Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company started in 1989 in Africa with the concession of Equatorial Guinea. Subsequently, other countries such as Guinea Conakry, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and The Gambia, joined the venture. Equatorial Coca-Cola was founded in 1997 as a new company to combine the operations of all these countries. Last two decades Equatorial Coca-Cola has expanded operations to Ghana, Morocco and Algeria, and today operates in 13 countries in Africa and employs more than 5000 people, the organization produces, markets and distributes world famous soft drinks including Coke, Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite. Equatorial Coca-Cola participates alongside The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation in projects that focus on improving education, the access to drinking water, health, entrepreneurial spirit and sustainability.

About The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) is an entity funded through Coca-Cola that implements community development programs throughout Africa. TCCAF has committed resources and is collaborating with partners to provide communities with improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation through the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), to contribute to strengthening Africa’s health systems through Project Last Mile, and to create opportunities for youth empowerment through the Youth Empowered for Success (YES) program.

The Foundation’s community activities focus on three key areas central to life in Africa: water, health systems strengthening and empowerment. By providing assistance in the most critical areas of need, TCCAF strives to improve the quality of life for communities in Africa and expand the opportunities for those who live there. Additionally, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation is involved in humanitarian assistance in Africa, for disaster relief and emergency assistance.

About the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

USAID is the lead U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. For more than 50 years, USAID has supported Ghana in increasing food security, improving basic health care, enhancing access to quality basic education, and strengthening local governance to benefit all Ghanaian people.

About the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) introduced the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) in 2009 in response to the lack of water and sanitation faced by nearly 300 million Africans.

RAIN is supporting programs in 38 of Africa’s 55 nations. As TCCAF’s flagship program, RAIN is contributing to help Africa achieve the United Nation’s Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6) on clean water and sanitation access.

To date, RAIN has reached more than 2.6 million people with improved water access across 38 countries. By the end of 2020, RAIN aims to measurably improve the lives of at least six (6) million people in Africa through sustainable water access, sanitation, and hygiene interventions.

About the Water and Development Alliance (WADA)

The Water and Development Alliance (WADA) is a collaboration between the Coca-Cola system (including corporate, foundations, and bottling partners) and USAID to promote improved water management and expand clean water access to help build sustainable communities in the developing world. Based on the results of a detailed program evaluation, in 2013 USAID and The Coca-Cola Company laid out the strategy for the next phase of the Alliance’s activities, which will focus on three pillars: Water for Health (aimed at improving operating environments which include improved sanitation /social behavior change communication and implementing at scale models for the sustainable delivery of WASH services); Water for Environment (which addresses local watershed risks to improve resiliency and future access to ecosystem services); and Water for Productive Use (which promotes the efficient use of water for economic growth and sustainable value chains and food security goals).

With a combined investment of over $31 million since 2005, WADA is having a positive impact on the lives of people and the health of ecosystems in 25 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, with plans for expansion in future years.

Equatorial Coca-Cola Communication Department

Eric Affum Boamah: eboamah@tccbcg.eccbc.com

Sonia Ventosa: sventosa@eccbc.com

Miriam Cusí: mcusi@llorenteycuenca.com

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About Cholo Brooks 5295 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists.