Today, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) celebrated the launch of a partnership with Amref Health Africa that will sustainably improve the health and enable the economic empowerment of more than 500,000 people living in communities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda through improved access to safe water and sanitation as well as economic empowerment through income generating opportunities.
The partnership will sustainably improve the health and enable the economic empowerment of more than 500,000 people living in communities in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda through improved access to safe water and sanitation as well as economic empowerment through income generating opportunities. It will be part of TCCAF’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) which aims to reach at least 6 million people throughout Africa with improved and sustainable access to safe water.
In response, this partnership will address the significant gaps in water and sanitation access across the four countries. With funding support of more than USD $4.2 million from TCCAF, Amref will work with local and national governments, adopting a systems-wide approach to implement key project activities including multiple-use water services, community-led total sanitation, as well as waste management and horticulture to generate income for women and youth. The project is expected to be completed by February 2020.
During the celebration, Dr Susan Mboya, President of TCCAF, remarked:
“Water is the most essential ingredient for a healthy and productive life. In sub-Saharan Africa, and here in East Africa, drought impacts many of our communities, making access to safe water for drinking and productive uses such as agriculture, a constant worry for many people. We recognise the urgency of these issues and that is why The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation has taken this step through the RAIN programme to contribute to achieve the SDGs and ensure access to safe drinking water for all.”
“Development needs a big shift in thinking, from just building infrastructure to creating and strengthening institutions through innovation and entrepreneurship. We know that the lasting health and economic benefits of water, sanitation and hygiene are optimised under conditions of full and sustainable access to these services.” added Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, Amref Health Africa.
Professor Fred H K Segor, Principal Secretary, State Department for Water Services, Ministry of Water & Irrigation remarked, “With this project, our goal to reach full and reliable access to safe drinking water for the residents of Kitui will be achieved. I would like to thank our partners, including The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative and Amref Health Africa for your support to achieving the SDG 6, ‘Clean Water & Sanitation’ to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
Mr Paul Mwanthuko Munyao, a teacher at Kilanga Primary school and a resident of Kitui East sub-county where the RAIN project will be implemented was among the key speakers. Mr Munyao stated that lack of clean and safe water was a major constraint especially to mothers and girls who walked for many Kilometers to fetch water.
“Before Amref interventions, our girls had to miss school as they spent several hours looking for water on a daily basis. Diarrheal diseases have also reduced as Amref rolled out a handwashing programme providing us with ideas of using leaky tin,” he stated.
“As a teacher and a parent, I am looking forward to this project because I know it will bring a positive impact in my community especially on the girl child.”
The partnership with Amref Health Africa will address the gap to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in three key areas: increasing access to water; access to safe sanitation and hygiene; and livelihood opportunities for women and youth.
Despite the progress that has been made over the past decade to improve access to water and sanitation in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, significant gaps still exist in vulnerable communities. In March 2017, the United Nations declared that more than 17 million people face food insecurity due to the drought in East Africa. Water scarcity and lack of access to sanitation services can increase disruptions and exacerbate fragilities in social, economic and environmental systems.