By Joyce Mukucha
BULAWAYO – In an effort aimed at addressing perennial water shortages in Bulawayo,the Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Coca-Cola Company has granted US$50,000 to DanChurchAid Zimbabwe for the much-needed water and sanitation project to provide clean and safe water to the urban poor in selected high-density suburbs.
This is in line with Coca-Cola’s projects aimed at uplifting lives in communities.
The grant has seen the completion and handover of seven solar-powered boreholes to the Bulawayo City Council management which will go a long way to help provide the Greater Bulawayo community improved access to safe drinking water.
The Bulawayo City Council identified and availed the locations in the areas with most need.
The Coca-Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world.
In a statement, Coca-Cola Foundation President, Saadia Madsbjerg said the project is built on the success of the Coca-Cola Foundation’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), which improved access to clean water for six million Africans in more than 4,000 communities across 41 countries.
“Our strategy is to deploy Coca-Cola Foundation funds in a way that emphasizes more sustainable, efficient water usage, helps address local water challenges and partners with others to improve watershed health and enhance community water resilience.
“These projects uplift lives in these communities, in particular women and girls. Our giving strategy has a strong emphasis on understanding the local context and needs of communities, which then informs the choice of appropriate interventions”, said Madsbjerg.
The solar-powered boreholes in Emakhandeni, Pumula, Nketa and Emganwini suburbs of Bulawayo will benefit over 25,000 people.
The statement further highlighted that the project is aimed at imitigating spread of diseases outbreaks including the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic.
“The project which was initiated in February 2021 is focused on addressing the problem of inadequate water and poor sanitation in low-income urban communities in Bulawayo that will also contribute towards mitigating the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Bulawayo has perennial water shortages and outbreaks of diarrhea and typhoid are common in the community as a result of people using contaminated and unclean water,” the statement reads.
DanChurchAid Country Director Mads Schack Lindegard said the project has enabled them to take a step towards empowering communities to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, while delivering on the vital human need, of access to water.
She added that,”The provision of the solarised boreholes will alleviate climate change induced water shortages in low-income residential areas housing some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the city, which has been made possible through a generous grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation.”
The Mayor of Bulawayo, Councilor Solomon Mguni welcomed the project saying it will assist Bulawayo City Council to the extent that it is likely to lift the water shedding programme earlier than scheduled owing to the improved supply throughout the year.
DanChurchAid (DCA) is a Danish faith-based civil society organization founded in 1922 by representatives of the Danish Evangelical Church- a key DanChurchAid constituency.
It is supported by volunteers, supporters, and staff working hard to save lives in many countries.
The organisation supports the needy and poorest of the world in their struggle for a dignified and better life and helps those who are vulnerable and whose lives are threatened by different socio-economic factors.
By Joyce Mukucha