Coca-Cola Pakistan in partnership with UN-HABITAT has adopted 100 + public schools to promote the overall objective of Goal 7, target 10 of the Millennium Development Goals; i.e. halving by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. At the inception workshop, Coca-Cola pledged USD 250,000 towards the project. The funds will be utilized to ensure that the selected schools have adequate safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and an embedded hygiene education programme as part of the school curriculum.
The availability of clean drinking water poses as a major challenge in Pakistan, especially in rural areas and low-income areas of cities. It is documented that more than 55% of urban poor do not have access to tap water. The condition of the water coupled with poor sanitary infrastructure is the largest single cause of high morbidity and mortality rates in Pakistan. Through the aid of the project, Coca-Cola and UN-HABITAT intend to increase the access of urban poor to safe drinking water and improve sanitation facilities in the selected schools.
Speaking about the project, Public Affairs & Communication Director, The Coca-Cola Export Corporation, Pakistan & Afghanistan, Mr. Fahad Qadir stated “Clean drinking water and sanitation is a basic necessity and essential to people’s health. By providing greater access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and a hygiene education programme in school we are investing in a better future for the coming generations. This is an exciting partnership, and we intend to upscale the project to new territories.”
“Behavioral change is a pertinent component of the WASH programme; children will become instrumental agents of change with respect of achieving Goal 7, target 10 of the Millennium Development Goal. This innovative partnership with Coca-Cola will help inculcate a sense of ownership amongst the children in areas of sanitation and hygiene,” stated Bella Evidente, Senior Programme Management Officer United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT Pakistan.
Coca-Cola Pakistan has a long-term partnership with UN-HABITAT; this project is the second project with the organization in the field of water and sanitation improvement. Coca-Cola’s corporate social responsibility portfolio stands greatly enhanced today, with sustainable interventions in the fields of education, environment and women empowerment. We have partnered with internationally reputed NGOs and highly reputed institutions to create shared value and contribute meaningfully to socio-economic uplift.