Coca Cola, USAID to improve water (Monday, July 26, 2010, Spread)

THE management of Coca-Cola in Ghana is collaborating with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to raise US$1.5 million to help improve water supply and sanitation in the country for the next three years.

The company is also making similar investments to the tune of US$30 million to improve access to potable water and sanitation for more than 300 million Africans.

The Franchise Manager, Coca-Cola Equatorial Africa,  Mr Philippe Ayivor,  made this known at a media soiree organised in collaboration with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) in Accra last Friday.

The soiree was the company’s way of building partnerships with the media because of their contribution to the development of democratic institutions in the country.

He commended the media for creating a “politically astute citizenry in the country”.

Mr Ayivor said the company would sponsor the “Health Reporter of the Year” award in this year’s edition of the GJA Awards to encourage health reporting in the country.

He said health remained critical to the development of the country, hence the company’s decision to support any initiative that would promote the health of the citizenry.

He said as part of its corporate social responsibility, the company distributed a million mosquito nets in the Northern and Eastern regions as its contribution towards the eradication of malaria.

Mr Ayivor said the soiree would be replicated in all 10 regions of the country before the end of the year.

In a speech read on his behalf, the General Manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company Ghana, Mr Conrad Van Niekerk, said apart from the significant revenue the company generated for the government in taxes and duties, it also employed more than a million Ghanaians directly and indirectly.

He said the company remained committed to the delivery of safe and quality products that measured up to international standards.

Mr Ransford Tetteh, the  President of the GJA, for his part, said it was not the intention of Ghanaian journalists to promote media tyranny  but rather partner the government in the development of the country.

He observed that nurturing the country's democracy required a strong and vibrant media, adding that “sometimes when we err, others who disagree have to bear with us”.

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