Coca-Cola and USAID partnership to provide safe drinking water in Western Region, Ghana
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 model across 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 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.