CHINA: Coca-Cola signs up to water partnership

By | 20 March 2008

The Coca-Cola Company was today part of a public-private partnership that announced a collaborative project to address water issues in four water stressed provinces of China: Sichuan, Heilongjiang, Xinjiang and Liaoning.

The partnership to improve water access and sanitation has been made between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ministry of Water Resources (MWR), China International Centre for Economic and Technical Exchange (CICETE) under the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and The Coca-Cola Company.

The four-year, US$6.792m joint project aims to improve policy mechanisms by demonstrating a series of sound water resource management approaches on water rights management, water resources allocation as well as drinking water safety technologies, such as rebuilding of drainage pipelines and ecologically sustainable agricultural technologies for water conservation.

"We hope to achieve these improvements for the poor and the children.  We hope we can achieve a heightened awareness at national, provincial, country and community levels of utilizing the technologies and practices and we hope to achieve succinct implementation of waterborne disease control, pollution control and environmental sustainability," said Khalid Malik, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in China.

By August, the project will set up pilots in four primary schools in rural Sichuan and Xinjiang provinces where basic sanitation such as clean toilet do not yet exist and students must cope without access to safe and sufficient drinking water.

Significant efforts will be made to improve conditions in schools, in forms of installing sanitary toilets and applying health education and technical training on school health management in hopes to reduce the incidence of waterborne diseases and raise hygiene awareness and education amongst primary school students.

"The health of our business is directly linked to the health of the environment -- sustainable growth needs sustainable communities.  Water is our most important ingredient and more urgently than ever before, we need to work together -- governments, civil society and businesses - to achieve water sustainability," said Paul Etchells, deputy group president of the Pacific Group, The Coca-Cola Company.

Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: The Coca-Cola Company

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