As part of its week-long celebration of World Water Day, The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) through its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) announced reaching over 580,000 Kenyans and 6 million people in Africa with access to clean water and sanitation. RAIN, launched in 2009, is TCCF’s flagship clean water programme in Africa contributing to helping countries across the continent achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6). Today’s 6-million-person achievement is the result of a collective effort from over three hundred international and local public, private and civil society partners. To mark the World Water Day 2021, RAIN partners gathered virtually recently for a panel discussion to mark the achievement of the programme and share best practices for replication from it.
“RAIN is a testament to the power of collective action,” said Bea Perez, Chair and President, The Coca-Cola Foundation. “Working with our partners, RAIN’s transformative impact can be felt today in 4,000 African communities. This programme drives impact for the Sustainable Development Goals and our focus on people, communities and the environment.”
In Kenya, RAIN implemented eleven projects across the country. One of them was in partnership with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) a not for profit company that worked with local authorities to impact more than 580,000 urban residents across five cities and towns – Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Naivasha with improved access to clean water and sanitation as well as empowerment activities.
In Nairobi , a total of 549 sewer connections each serving 30 households and 1,920 plot connections each serving 20 people in Nakuru were installed. This has enabled communities in these areas to live in dignity. “We have been having a problem of sewerage line in this area. We are grateful to Coca-Cola and WSUP for giving us a sewer line that is flowing and doesn’t clog, this is a lifeline for the people of this community,” says Francis Ndungu, Chairman Kaptagat Kangemi Resident Association, one of the areas that has benefited from RAIN.
Over the course of the past decade, RAIN has improved access to clean water for communities, schools, and clinics across 41 African countries as well as enhanced access to hygiene and promoted better hygiene behaviours. The programme has also enabled the economic empowerment of people by creating opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship and skills generation. In addition, RAIN has helped to protect critical watersheds, supported several African utilities in coping with the rapidly growing water demand in cities, and delivered essential hygiene items and personal protective equipment to help slow the spread of Covid-19.
RAIN has developed important learnings and recommendations, including:
· Emphasize partnerships with urban and peri-urban utilities to help increase their capacity to better serve Africa’s expanding urban environments.
· Accelerate integrated water resources management efforts to decrease stress on food production, water supply and sanitation services.
· Enhance source protection for priority watersheds that serve the drinking water needs of millions of Africans.
· Address the gender gap and focusing on the needs of women who play a critical role in community resilience and are uniquely empowered by WASH access.
· Improve the collection, accessibility, sharing and use of data to monitor WASH services, improve performance, planning and decision making.
· Support civil society and communities to help build resilience to water-related climate change impacts.
“Africa is experiencing the highest rate of urban growth globally and is home to 21 of the world’s 30 fastest-growing cities,” said Bruno Pietracci, President for The Coca-Cola Company’s Africa operating unit. “Africa is also more vulnerable to climate change than any other region.
The Coca-Cola Foundation is committed to working with communities and governments to enhance climate change adaptation and help address the challenges that urbanization creates for the delivery of clean water and sanitation throughout the continent.”
Key RAIN achievements to date
· Over 6 million people with improved access to WASH
· 120 programs supported in 41 countries
· 17 urban utilities strengthened
· Enabled the empowerment of 480,000+ women and girls
· 1,200 schools with improved WASH access
· 245,000 patients, nurses, and doctors with improved WASH access in their healthcare facility
· 4,000+ healthier and more productive communities
· Supported 350,000+ people during the COVID pandemic with WASH, personal protective equipment (PPE), handwashing stations, and hygiene supplies.