MONROVIA - Plan International, in partnership with Coca-Cola, recently announced the handover of the Improving Access to Potable Water and Adequate Sanitation in Health Facilities in Rural Liberia project that provides access to clean water and adequate sanitation to over 1,700 individuals. The project promotes good sanitation and hygiene practices across four health facilities in the Salayea, Vezala, Sarkonedu, and Popolahun communities of Lofa County. By updating water and sanitation infrastructure, the project will significantly improve health services to the communities, as well as adjacent areas.
The Improving Access to Potable Water and Adequate Sanitation in Health Facilities in Rural Liberia project is being funded under Coca-Cola’s Bolstering Africa’s Resilience (BAR) and Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) programs which, respectively, are designed to create a holistic unified response to Ebola in Liberia, and provide over six million Africans with access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene by 2020. Seth Adu-Baah, Country Manager at the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC) noted, “The remote areas of Liberia where the BAR program operates were some of the most devastated regions when Ebola hit. LCCBC is working with our BAR partners to ensure that these communities are not left behind and instead are able to flourish as our nation recovers from this disaster.”
Project activities included the construction of four drilled wells powered by submersible pumps along with the provision and installation of a solar grid system, including back up batteries. Water reservoirs and supply lines were installed to provide constant potable water to the health facilities, including handwashing basins in delivery and emergency rooms. The project also rehabilitated existing sanitation facilities which will in turn drive their increased and safe use by community members. After the handover, the project will have reached at least 1,756 direct beneficiaries and 7,148 indirect beneficiaries.
Tarnue Karbbar, Senior Grants Project Manager at Plan International Liberia, addressed the communities at the project handover event, “There are over fifty health clinics in Lofa County, and four sites were chosen for this unique project, establishing a new standard for wells in Lofa County. It is important that the communities and administrators of these health clinics ensure proper management and maintenance of the facilities which will demonstrate that you value the money Coca-Cola has invested in the project and keep safe water flowing for many years.”
Francis Dunor, an official representative for the Lofa County Superintendent, explained, “It is with great happiness that the Office of the Superintendent of Lofa County extends thanks to Coca-Cola and Plan International for supplementing the government’s efforts in ensuring our health facilities in these four communities now have access to water. Access to water in these facilities improves sanitation and makes the work of our healthcare staff much easier.” Before the project, the health facilities in the communities chosen did not have a water supply, making deliveries for pregnant women difficult and unsanitary. Through the project, there is now access to safe water in the health facilities.
A local resident of Vezala and staff member at the health clinic, Sonii Morlu, expressed her gratitude for the project, “I am the cleaner at the Vezala clinic. Before this project, it was very hard work for me toting water in buckets every day for the clinic to have enough water, but we have plenty of water in the clinic now. We can just open the pump and get water, so our worries of no water are over.” She added, “I am very happy that this project is completed and has been handed over to our clinics!”
In his welcome remarks, Vezala Town Chief, Othello Jallah, concurred and added, “Water is life. This project by Coca-Cola and Plan International Liberia has brought water to our clinics and therefore has brought life to our communities. I want to thank Coca-Cola and Plan International for choosing our communities for the project implementation.”
About The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation
The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) is an entity funded through Coca-Cola that implements community development programs throughout Africa. TCCAF has committed resources and is collaborating with partners to provide communities with improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation through the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), to contribute to strengthening Africa’s health systems through Project Last Mile, and to create opportunities for youth empowerment through the Youth Empowered for Success (YES) program.
The Foundation’s community activities focus on three key areas central to life in Africa: water, health systems strengthening and empowerment. By providing assistance in the most critical areas of need, TCCAF strives to improve the quality of life for communities in Africa and expand the opportunities for those who live there. Additionally, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation is involved in humanitarian assistance in Africa, for disaster relief and emergency assistance.
About the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN)
In response to the severe water challenges faced by nearly 300 million Africans living without access to clean water, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) introduced RAIN in 2009. RAIN is Coca-Cola’s contribution to helping Africa achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals on clean water and sanitation access. At the end of 2015, RAIN had reached more than two (2) million people with improved water access across 37 countries. By the end of 2020, RAIN aims to measurably improve the lives of at least six (6) million people in Africa through sustainable water access, sanitation, and hygiene interventions.
About Bolstering Africa’s Resilience (BAR) Program
Through the Golden Triangle Partnership program, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company, Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company, and its local bottlers are leading an integrated approach by working with the governments and civil society organizations in Liberia to respond to the Ebola outbreak. The Bolstering Africa’s Resilience (BAR) Initiative will embrace this approach, by leveraging the expertise of best in class partners to create a holistic unified response to Ebola. By working with the government and local partners, this Initiative will offer locally relevant and long-lasting solutions to the challenges exposed during the recent Ebola crisis with a focus on water, health, economic empowerment, and the education and welfare of children who have lost their families.
About Plan International
Plan International Liberia and Plan International USA, parts of the Plan International Federation (Plan), are child-centered development organizations that believe in the promise and potential of children. For more than 75 years in over 50 developing countries, Plan has been breaking the cycle of child poverty. Everything Plan does – from strengthening health care systems to improving the quality of education, to advocating for increased protection and beyond – is built with, and owned by, the community. The result is a development approach designed to improve the lives of the youngest members of the community for the longest period of time. For more information, please visit PlanUSA.org.