Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Water and Development Alliance Brings Sanitation and Clean Water to Rural South Africa

Water and Development Alliance Brings Sanitation and Clean Water to Rural South Africa
USAID, December 8, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) have partnered through the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) initiative to bring more than 12,000 people in Ramotshinyadi Village of South Africa access to clean drinking water.

The WADA project aims to shift the way Ramotshinyadi villagers experience and conceptualize healthcare provision, and therefore will emphasize how clean, running water promotes good health. Family Health International South Africa (FHISA), Mvula Trust, and Re-Solve are collaborating to implement the program in Ramotshinyadi.

Malik Jaffer, USAID/Southern Africa HIV/AIDS technical officer, expects the WADA project to improve health in the region. "USAID wants to help South African children and their families get the basic essentials they need to lead happy, healthy lives," he says. "Without clean water and sanitation, these kids don't stand a chance."

WADA is investing a total of $1.6 million over a three years period to build the appropriate water infrastructure in Ramotshinyadi Village - a priority health district in Limpopo Province--and two other villages, ensuring that every street has water pipes.

"The Bophelo Ka Metsi project further demonstrates Coca-Cola's commitment as a company to contribute towards the development of our communities. Our continent's chronic water shortage also prompts us, together with strategic partners such as NGOs and government, to act immediately in overcoming this challenge," said Tulisiwe Mkatshwa, community affairs manager for Coca-Cola South Africa.

Water and health education and knowledge sharing exhibitions showed residents how to practice good hygiene and illustrated the consequences of drinking dirty water. These events culminated in the formal WADA launch on Nov. 27, attended by representatives of the Limpopo Provincial Government; the Greater Tzaneen Municipality, led by Mayor Mushwana; donors USAID; Coca-Cola; Family Health International; and traditional leaders. All attendees pledged to work together to ensure the sustainability of the project.

WADA is a joint initiative between USAID and The Coca-Cola Company that operates in 22 countries worldwide, contributing to protecting and improving the sustainability of watersheds, increasing access to water supply and sanitation services for the world's poor, and enhancing productive uses of water. The Alliance is a positive example of how public-private partnerships can give localized support to those with the greatest needs for water and sanitation services, ensuring that water resources are managed to serve future generations.

For more information about USAID and the WADA initiative, please visit: www.usaid.gov.