Aug 06, 2007

Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, UNICEF Partner to Improve Water Services in Egypt

UNICEF and the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation have launched a partnership to provide Egyptians in rural and urban areas with more access to improved water services. Working with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI), USAID and International Resources Group (IRG) under the newly formed Global Development Alliance, will focus on improving the quality of water resources, reducing water health hazards, and increasing water productivity.

According to Al Bawaba, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation is giving $250,000 to UNICEF, half of which will go towards community awareness campaigns. USAID and the MWRI will contribute $250,000 each, along with $90,000 from UNICEF.

In many areas in Egypt, water quality is being threatened by the dumping of inadequately treated domestic, agricultural and industrial wastes in waterways. This then affects water availability, which negatively impacts the health and economy of the nation.

Currently, Al Bawaba reports that only a small amount of Egypt’s 4,500 villages have proper wastewater disposal systems or municipal solid waste management. The new project will introduce low cost alternative methods for wastewater treatment and practical methods for solid waste disposal and management. About 80,000 people should be reached by this project, which will be implemented in rural communities in the governorates of Gharbiya and Qena. UNICEF will focus mainly on community awareness campaigns and training that will provide information to the public about healthy water resource management and mobilize community members in the preservation and improvement of their water facilities.

To date, USAID and Coca-Cola have contributed over $9.5 million in joint water projects in eleven African countries, as well as Bolivia and Indonesia.