The Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company (ECCBC), in partnership with The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has inaugurated a Water Health Center (WHC) for the citizens of Prestea and its environs.
The facility worth 120,000 United States dollars would provide safe drinking water to approximately 13,000 people.
It is also the twelfth Coca-Cola system funded by WHC in Ghana under the Safe Water for Africa programme, which was part of TCCAF’s leading programme, the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), in which Equatorial Coca-Cola participates.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mr Bethel Yeboah, the Public Affairs and Communications Manager, ECCBC Ghana, said Ghanaians face many infrastructural and knowledge-based obstacles when it comes to accessing water and achieving healthy levels of sanitation.
He said these challenges, seem insurmountable, but they believe that something positive could be done to improve the situation.
He said it was in view of this that the Coca-Cola system had to partner with their host communities to overcome water and sanitation problems.
Mr Yeboah said the firm is proud that Prestea has joined in the fight for easier water access and better sanitation for all Ghanaians.
Touching on the RAIN programme, the Public Affairs and Communications Manager, ECCBC Ghana, said TCCAF introduced RAIN in 2009 in response to the lack of water and poor sanitation systems faced by nearly 300 million Africans.
He said currently the programme has reached out to more than 2.6 million people with improved water access across 38 of Africa’s 56 nations.
Mr Yeboah said it has helped Africa to achieve the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals 6 on clean water and sanitation access.
He said by the end of 2020, RAIN intends to better the lives of 6 million people in Africa through sustainable water access, sanitation and hygiene interventions.
Mr Mozart Kwaku Owuh, the District Chief Executive of Prestea Huni/Valley, said universal access to basic necessities like water is a constitutional requirement under the direct principles of state policy.
In fulfillment of these, he said, past and present governments have rolled out programmes to ensure that all Ghanaians have water.
Mr Owuh said this has not been possible because it is capital intensive to provide such facilities to every part of the country.
He said the issue of funding remains a great challenge not only to the district assemblies but the central government as well
because there is always a competing demand for scarce resources by the various sectors.
He expressed gratitude to Coca-Cola, USAID and the traditional rulers for contributing to the completion of the center.
The DCE urged those in charge of the center to manage the facility effectively to ensure its best use.
In a brief speech delivered on behalf of the chief of Himan, Nana Nteboa Pra IV thanked Coca-Cola and USAID for the kind gesture.