Bringing safe drinking water to millions

business May 18, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

4,061 Viewed

Coca-Cola partners with WaterHealth International to bring clean water to a million students in developing countries under their 'Child With Water' project

The Coca-Cola Company and WaterHealth International (WHI) have announced a plan to bring safe drinking water to 1 million schoolchildren through their “Child With Water” (CWW) programme. 
Together, the partners aim to deliver 500 million litres of safe drinking water a year to 1 million children in 2,000 schools in developing countries by the end of 2015.
Safe drinking water will be delivered through water-purification systems installed, operated and maintained by WHI, with the first installations commencing this month.
The Coca-Cola Company also announced it had taken a minority equity ownership in WHI, which is a world leader in decentralised water purification, currently operating more than 500 purification plants in five countries providing sustainable safe drinking-water access to about 5 million people.
The investment by Coca-Cola will further support the scale-up of WaterHealth’s sustainable model to provide safe water to underserved communities and accelerate the placement of new WaterHealth Centres and CWW programmes globally.
“Safe water is critical for all. It’s vital to the health of people and communities, it’s essential to economic prosperity, and it’s the lifeblood of our business,” said Bea Perez, the company’s chief sustainability officer. 
“Through the Child With Water programme, we can help keep children hydrated, active and healthy so they can thrive in school and in their communities. 
“We believe this programme has the potential to help transform communities through safe water consumption, safe water handling and safe hygiene practices. 
“WaterHealth International is an ideal partner to implement the programme because of its proven model and capability of providing safe water to communities. The results will have a lasting impact on the communities we serve,” she added.
“We are very pleased to join Coca-Cola in this initiative. This is further validation that the WaterHealth approach is the world’s leading model for sustainably providing safe drinking water,” said Sanjay Bhatnagar, president and CEO of WHI. 
“The Child With Water programme has a critical focus on water quality, reliable operations and hygiene education. WHI is in a unique position to implement the programme due to the size and breadth of our existing footprint. Partnering with a visionary company like Coca-Cola enables us to have a greater impact and further our mission to provide clean water to the millions who have spent a lifetime waiting for it,” he added.
Coca-Cola is actively partnering with WHI for safe-water access projects in West Africa through its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN). 
CWW supports Coca-Cola’s commitment to replenish the water used in its beverages by 2020, and its continued commitment to fostering sustainable communities globally.
WaterHealth aims to bring quality water to 2 billion people
WaterHealth’s vision is to play a central role in bringing safe, quality water to the 2 billion unserved and underserved people around the world who do not have reliable access to it. 
WaterHealth Centres allow underserved communities rapid access to safe water at an affordable price, helping solve the global challenge of waterborne diseases. 
Coca-Cola has a sustainable business model under which it constructs a WaterHealth Centre and provides long-term operations, maintenance and water-quality monitoring services to communities for a low, initial one-time cost. 
The company currently operates more than 500 such centres in developing countries and provides drinking-water access to 5 million people, aiming to reach 100 million by 2020. 
More information about the programme is available on the website.
Coca-Cola is the world’s largest beverage company, with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Consumers in more than 200 countries drink the company’s bever-ages at a rate of 1.9 billion servings a day. 
With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, the company is focused on initiatives that reduce its environmental footprint, support active and healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for its associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where it operates. 
Together with its bottling partners, Coca-Cola ranks among the world’s top-10 private employers, with more than 700,000 employees and system associates.