May 29, 2013 – The Millennium Water Alliance joined with Coca-Cola Latin America and The FEMSA Foundation in Mexico City on May 29 to officially launch their new partnership to bring new and improved water and sanitation access to more than 110,000 people in some of the poorest regions of Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua over the next three years.
The $12.3 million program – Lazos de Agua, or Water Links – will concentrate on sustainable access to safe drinking water, better sanitation practices and systems, and hygiene education, using new technologies as much as possible. Coca-Cola Latin America and The FEMSA Foundation (representing many of the bottlers and distributors for Coca-Cola) together will fund more than $6 million (US) in the program, with MWA members and partners bringing another $6.3 million to the effort.
The implementing partners are Aguayuda (Colombia), CARE (Guatemala), Living Water International (Mexico), WaterAid in America (Nicaragua), Water For People (Honduras), and World Vision (Mexico).
The main goals are:
- Increase access to sustainable, safe water for a minimum of 110,000 people in the intervention communities;
- Promote sustainable sanitation coverage for a minimum of 110,000 people in the intervention communities;
- Improve source and household level drinking water quality to meet or exceed national government standards in all water schemes constructed or rehabilitated through the program;
- Improve hand-washing practices for a minimum of 110,000 people in all intervention communities.
Major components in this program are emphasis on empowering women in communities, community involvement every step of the way, planning for post-project monitoring and evaluation, applied research in hygiene promotion, use of new technologies and increased information-sharing among all partners in real-time as much as possible.
Regular program updates from the field will increasingly available for public view on MWA’s website, in partnership with Akvo. See it now at mwawater.org.
The Millennium Water Alliance, headquartered in Washington DC, was founded in 2002 by WASH implementing organizations to share information and best practices, help build programs of greater scale, and advocate for greater global commitments to sustainable WASH. MWA actively pushes policymakers and other stakeholders to fund expanded WASH efforts in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
MWA’s members include: CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry, Global Water, IRC – International Water and Sanitation Center, Lifewater International, Living Water International, Pure Water for the World, WaterAid in America, Water For People, Water Missions International, Water.org, and World Vision.
The Coca-Cola Company is one of the most successful corporations in the world and a global leader in hydro-philanthropy, recognizing that clean water is a cornerstone of any sustainable community and that sustainable communities are the foundation of Coca-Cola’s business. In 2007, Coca-Cola solidified its commitment to safeguarding water as a vital corporate and community asset by setting an aspirational goal to safely return to communities and nature an amount of water equivalent to what is used in all Coca-Cola beverages and their production.
For further information, contact:
John Sparks, Director of Advocacy and Communications, MWA
 Potential beneficiaries are based on estimates provided by Coca-Cola of potential beneficiaries from the pilot test of these two technologies. MWA will provide actual beneficiaries when these technologies are implemented in the program.