New York City-based has announced a new partnership with the to provide clean drinking water to communities in Burkina Faso and rural Ethiopia.
Under the arrangement, WaterAid and Coca-Cola will work with the water utility and local officials in Ouagadouogou, Burkina Faso's capital city, to extend existing water pipelines and install new water points to provide residents in one of the poorest suburbs of the city with clean, treated drinking water. In Ethiopia, Coca-Cola and WaterAid will work to provide safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services to the Dita and Kemba districts of the impoverished Gamo-Gofa zone, where water and sanitation-related diseases are rampant due to severe seasonal water shortages, the absence of rivers that flow year-round, little surface water, and high levels of soil degradation.
The partnership supports the company's Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), which seeks to provide sustainable access to safe water to two million people on the continent by 2015.
"At Coca-Cola, water stewardship is a strategic sustainability priority as so much of our business depends on water. It is the main ingredient in our products, and it sustains the communities that form our markets," said Greg Koch, director of global water stewardship at the company. "A key element of our strategy is helping communities gain access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene, and we do that in partnership with them, local governments, civil society, and implementation partners. Only so much can be achieved unilaterally. Partnerships such as ours with WaterAid make greater results possible."