Multinational beverage company Coca-Cola has outlined its efforts to replenish the water it uses through partnerships and projects across communities in Africa.
“The company has made significant strides in improving its water use over the past ten years and recently announced that three-million more people across Africa have improved access to safe water under its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) – the largest public–private partnership focused on water in Africa,” Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa sustainability head Dorcas Onyango said on Wednesday.
Coca-Cola Africa says it has continued to fulfill its global goal of safely returning an amount of water equal to what it uses in its finished beverages and their production to communities and nature.
With water a scarce and precious resources, Coca-Cola, together with other multinationals that use plenty of water, has become increasingly aware of rising water demand and climatic challenges in Africa.
Through working with over 140 partners, Coca-Cola’s RAIN programme is active in over 2 750 communities across 41 African countries. In Ghana, Malawi and Mali, the RAIN-supported CARE Water Smart Agricultural project is empowering female smallholder farmers through improved agricultural practices. Onyango said at least 40 000 women would benefit from increased production and improved food and water security for themselves and their families through the project in the three countries.
Coca-Cola Africa has been partnering with the African Utility Week and PowerGEN Africa conference, in Cape Town, this week to gain insights from leaders in the water sector to help understand how the company and other corporates can address water security.
“We believe in solutions based on collective thinking and collaboration, which is why it is so important that we work with partners like African Utility Week and PowerGEN Africa to find solutions that corporates can meaningfully contribute to,” Onyango said.
She said the partnership was in line with Coca-Cola’s approach to continually engage the right stakeholders to ensure the company is responsive and collaborative in its water stewardship strategy.
“No one company or organisation can solve the world’s water issues alone. But through innovative partnerships that leverage the corporate ability to develop employment and entrepreneurship opportunities related to water access and watershed protection, we can sustainably protect and manage this vital resource," commented African Utility Week and PowerGEN Africa senior communications manager Annemarie Roodbol.
The Coca-Cola Company offers over 500 brands, ranging from Coke to Costa coffee and Minute Maid juices, in more than 200 countries and territories.