South African Schoolchildren Gain Clean Water and Sanitation

USAID and Coca-Cola and Local Government Unite to Repair Schools' Plumbing

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 16, 2009
USAID Press Office

April 16: More than 10,000 South African learners, teachers, and community members will gain access to clean, abundant water and sanitation through an international Water and Development Alliance (WADA) supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) and implemented by the Alliance to Save Energy, an international non-profit organization.

The Schools' Plumbing Repair and Learner Education project will be launched in Daveyton on April 16, 2009 by the Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mrs. Lentheng Mekgwe, with senior officials from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the Department of Education, and the municipality, in addition to representatives from USAID, Coca-Cola, and other organizations contributing to the project such as Builders Warehouse. Activities will include fun-filled water games for learners from Enkangala Primary School, one of the beneficiary schools.

WADA will enable schools in previously disadvantaged areas to reduce lost or wasteful consumption of water. These facilities are characterized by inadequate plumbing and sanitation infrastructure, the inability to fund the cost of supplied water services, and the incapacity to maintain plumbing fixtures causing severe water wastage. Malik Jaffer, a HIV/AIDS technical officer of USAID/South Africa, emphasizes the importance of the WADA project in improving these conditions. "USAID wants to help South African children and their families gain the basic essentials they need to lead happy, healthy lives," he says. "Without clean water and sanitation, these kids don't stand a chance."

Local communities adjacent to the schools will be involved during implementation, to learn objectives, messages, impacts and to extend reciprocal benefits beyond the schoolyard into the surrounding area.

The project aims to:

  • Improve health, hygiene, and sanitation facilities at six beneficiary schools;
  • Improve access to potable water supply;
  • Eliminate known water wastage taking place on school properties by repairing and updating plumbing fixtures;
  • Educate learners, teachers, and staff in efficient water use and conservation; and
  • Train caretakers to better maintain installed infrastructure and ensure the sustainability of the new water efficiencies.

Beyond improving the efficient use of school water supplies and water-using sanitation infrastructures, this project will raise awareness of the importance of water conservation. Teachers, students, and local communities will be equipped to sustainably manage and maintain water and sanitation resources.

Public Affairs Director, Kaizer Nyatsumba says "Coca-Cola is proud to partner with a credible organisation such as USAID on such a worthy project to make a positive difference in the community. This is an exciting partnership and I'm confident working together we can achieve more for the benefit of the less fortunate."

Women from the communities will be engaged as leaders in the education and awareness campaign and may also be hired as caretakers at the schools.

WADA is a joint initiative between USAID and The Coca-Cola Company that operates in 21 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, please contact:

Sammy Mohlaoli
Senior Communications Manager
Coca-Cola South Africa
9 Junction Ave.
Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 644 0528

Malik Jaffer
HIV/AIDS Technical Officer
USAID/South Africa
P.O. Box 43
Groenkloof, South Africa 0027
Tel: +27 (0)12 452 2244

Mike Rabe
Re-Solve Consulting (through the Alliance to Save Energy)
Postnet Suite 810
Private Bag X9
Benmore 2010
Tel: +27 (0)11 766 2355

About the Partners

USAID has been providing water supply and sanitation services, promoting hygiene behavior change, improving water resources management for food security and livelihoods, and supporting sustainable management of watersheds in developing countries for over 40 years. Through its programs, USAID/South Africa is working to achieve a sustainable transformation from apartheid conditions to sustainable development conditions.

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation was created in 2001 to manage the community investments of the Coca-Cola System in Africa. Over the years it has invested substantially in the areas of education, health and the environment. It continues to partner with credible institutions, leveraging the System's unparalleled manufacturing and distribution network, to access some of Africa's most remote locations for community development and numerous disaster relief efforts across the continent.