While water is an abundant natural resource, less than three percent of all water on earth is fresh water, and of that amount, over two-thirds is frozen in glaciers and ice caps. Low investments in water infrastructure, rampant wastage and lack of private sector initiative have led to acute water shortages. About 663 million people in developing countries today do not have access to clean drinking water. According to WHO and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program (2015), a child dies from a water-related disease every 90 seconds.
The World Economic Forum released its Global Risks Report in January 2015, declaring the water crisis as the top global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation). In regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, waterborne diseases and the economic cost involved in gathering water are severely curtailing the real potential of people.
RAIN Catalyzing Change in Africa
The Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) has been leading a transformative journey to provide clean water access to people across the African continent. Backed by a $65 million commitment, RAIN is the flagship program of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) and the largest corporate investment in water on the African continent. RAIN is creating catalytic change across Africa by investing in building capacity for sustainable water and sanitation access. The program is helping build pathways to a future of strong economic growth and development in Africa.
As the largest Pan-African clean water program, RAIN has launched innovative projects and created high-impact partnerships to meet its goal of providing clean water access to more than two million people in 37 African countries this year.
RAIN’s diverse approaches to address clean water challenges across Africa have resulted in far-reaching impacts on the communities, including reduction in healthcare costs, more schooling time for children, and greater economic empowerment of women.
Expansive Pan-Africa Program
Through a variety of programs, RAIN has provided safe water access to more than one million people and improved sanitation for 350,000 people. RAIN’s programs generate up to $147 million in saved time, reduced costs and increased productivity across African communities. Every year, communities impacted by RAIN are able to save over 168 million hours by reducing time spent on collecting water from distant areas and on fighting water-related diseases.
Promoting Youth Education and Women’s Empowerment
RAIN’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs in schools across Africa provide safe drinking water, improve sanitation facilities, and promote health and equal opportunity for children. More than 300,000 children in 239 schools have received the benefits of improved WASH already.
RAIN is economically empowering women through the creation of opportunities for income generation and leadership through water management, improving productivity and access to markets, and training women in savings, business and entrepreneurial skills. More than 10,000 women will have availed these opportunities for their economic advancement by the end of 2015.
Fostering Impactful Partnerships
What sets RAIN apart is its ability to leverage Coca-Cola’s networks with diverse stakeholders to positively impact African communities. It has attracted over $42 million in co-finance from more than 140 best in class “Golden Triangle” partners from governments, the private sector and NGOs, 80 of which are on the African continent.
Together with these Golden Triangle partnerships, RAIN is bringing sustainable change to Africa by working in areas with WASH sector momentum and potential for high impact programs, making efficient investments to drive change, strengthen capacity of government agencies and utilities and leverage co-finance from high-value organizations. The local presence of the Coca-Cola system further strengthens the program’s impact.
RAIN has set ambitious goals to create sweeping change in Africa by 2020. It aims to have a direct impact on one out of every 200 Africans by 2020. Through December 31, 2020, RAIN has a target to transform the lives of an average 2,000 Africans through water every single day. Including all previous investments made since its launch, RAIN will improve sustainable clean water access for six million people across Africa by 2020.
RAIN will empower up to 550,000 women and youth through training and entrepreneurial opportunities, promote health and hygiene in thousands of communities, schools and health centers, replenish 18.5 billion liters of water to nature and communities through large-scale water access programs and water conservation activities, and leverage $132 million in co-investment. With sustainability at the core of its programs, RAIN is helping build a more resilient Africa by 2020.