MONROVIA, Liberia, March 3, 2017: Coca-Cola, in partnership with Plan International, recently announced the start of the Improving Access to Potable Water and Adequate Sanitation in Health Facilities in Rural Liberia project that will provide access to clean water and adequate sanitation to over 1,700 individuals. The project will promote good sanitation and hygiene practices across four health facilities in the Salayea, Vezala, Sarkonnedu, and Popolahun communities of Lofa County. By updating water and sanitation infrastructure, the project will significantly improve health services to the four 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 to provide over six million Africans with access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene by 2020. Speaking at the local launch event in Voinjama City, Lofa County, Mr. Victor B. J. George, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at the Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Liberia, encouraged community members to see the initiative as their own and to take pride in ensuring proper maintenance of the facilities after Plan International, the implementing partner, has completed the project.
Project activities will include 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 will be installed to provide constant potable water to the health facilities, including handwashing basins in delivery and emergency rooms. The project will also rehabilitate existing sanitation facilities which will in turn drive their increased and appropriate use by community members. Upon completion, the project will have reached at least 1,756 direct beneficiaries and 7,148 indirect beneficiaries.
“I am very happy that this project is being implemented here in Lofa County, especially in those four communities,” said Mr. Richard Boadu, Plan International Program Unit Manager. The communities and health facilities chosen are in urgent need of this project as the current water sources for the health facilities do not provide a constant water supply, making deliveries for pregnant women difficult and unsanitary, according to Mr. Boadu.
Launching the project on behalf of the Superintendent of Lofa County, Mr. Francis M. Dunor, Administrative Assistant in the Superintendent Office, praised Coca-Cola and Plan International for bringing this project to the local communities and asked all local government functionaries to provide the needed technical support and collaboration to make the project succeed. “It is government’s statutory responsibility to provide basic social services to its citizens. Working with our international partners like Coca-Cola and Plan International, we can give to our people living in rural communities a better living environment,” he explained.
Speaking about the need for the project, local resident of Sarkonnedu, Sufanu Kamara said that “when you are in labor and you come to the clinic, and when there is no water, before the doctors and nurses can attend to you, they will demand that you or a member of your family bring six, five gallon containers of water.” Continuing on she stated that, “I am happy that Plan International and Coca-Cola feel for us to bring running water to our clinic. It will help my friends and myself so we’ll not be forced to bring water before we are attended to.”
While touring the Sarkonnedu community clinic, Town Chief Amara V. Kamara stressed to the Coca-Cola and Plan International teams the relief which the project will bring to the clinic and patients. “Our pregnant women are facing problems in this community because the water shortage is a big problem; they [the pregnant women] have to draw water before they are [able to be] seen by the doctors and nurses. When they go to use the toilet, they have to squat because the toilet is a pit latrine and this can be difficult for them,” he said. “This project is a big relief for us, our women, and our children. I want to thank you for thinking about our clinic and our community,” he concluded.
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.
ABOUT REPLENISH AFRICA INITIATIVE (RAIN)
Launched by TCCAF in 2010 in response to the severe health challenges faced by millions of Africans living without access to safe drinking water, RAIN aims to improve access to safe water for six million people in Africa by 2020. In addition, RAIN aims to create employment opportunities for women, youth and families through water project activities as well as improve children’s learning environment through WASH in schools. RAIN is backed by an 11-year, $65 million-dollar commitment by TCCAF and made possible through the support of more than 140 partners.