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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Coca-Cola Sri Lanka and UNDP dedicate revitalised water and sanitation projects in Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee

The Coke and UNDP teams being welcomed by the community and school children
The Coke and UNDP teams being welcomed by
 the community and school children
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka in partnership with the United Nations Development Program dedicated clean toilets and wells in the Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee districts of Sri Lanka. Under the Every Drop Matters Project, the two partners constructed and renovated a total of 67 toilets and 46 wells in the two districts. 

The project, begun August 2011 was undertaken to help revitalize communities in the interiors parts of Sri Lanka, that face severe hardships in accessing clean water and sanitation facilities, partnering with the UNDP for the Every Drop Matters (EDM) project. 
The Coke & UNDP Team with the Children of the Tamil Mixed school
The Coke & UNDP Team with the Children of the
Tamil Mixed school
On 16 July the clean wells and toilets were handed over to the community members by Enrico Gaveglia, Deputy Country Director, UNDP, Rajendrakumar Ganesarajah, Assistant Country Director, UNDP as well as Neeraj Garg - VP South West Asia Operations & Juice Business and Deepak Jolly, VP- Public Affairs and Communication from Coca-Cola India & South West Asia Business Unit. Also present were Massimo Diana, Senior Programme Manager, UNDP, Abhishek Jugran, Country Manager-Sri Lanka & Maldives, Coca-Cola Far East Ltd and Kapila Welmillage, Country Manager – Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Limited. 

45 toilets were built for the families in Dalukana Village in Polonnaruwa and 25 wells were renovated which would benefit 46 households in Kadadkaraichenai, Trincomalee.

Commenting on the project Neeraj Garg, VP - SWA and Juice Business said: 
‘Coca-Cola places a strong emphasis on sustainability and globally the company undertakes a number of initiatives in partnership with national and international organizations on water, climate protection, environment and healthy active living. We are very committed to building sustainable communities in Sri Lanka and have been working with several partners on water and sanitation projects. We are so glad to see that the community is actively involved in teaching children the importance of proper sanitation as well as raising their awareness on water conservation’

In Dalukana Village, 45 households were basic access to clean drinking water and sanitation, including seven households which were headed by female members, and one household was headed by a disabled person. Toilets were constructed in each household to meet critical sanitation needs. During this time, the community members were educated on personal hygiene, proper sanitary practices and the proper use and maintenance of the toilets.

A unique aspect of this project was the involvement of the community in the revitalization work. People from the community worked with the project partners to implement the work which led to 21 additional wells being renovated and improving access to water for an additional 190 households. The project was also supported in Kumpurupitiya East by the Women’s Rural Development Society.

Additionally, in Kadadkaraichenai, 25 wells were also renovated which would benefit 46 households and in Kumpurupitiya East 22 toilets were renovated.

Three schools from the Kadadkaraichenai area- the Tamil Mixed School, Chenaiyoor Central College and Vipulanantha Vidyalayam, were selected for waste reduction and eco-conservation initiatives while awareness programmes were conducted on water and sanitation with the participation of students and teachers. This resulted in the establishment of a Water and Sanitation Task Force in each school. Post the health and hygiene awareness session, a waste collection system was implemented with each school being provided waste bins to incorporate waste management.

In addition, an internal water supply system was renovated in the Government Tamil Mixed School - Kadadkaraichenai. A well and an overhead tank with an internal water supply system were included in the renovation to help establish a school garden. The produce from the garden is expected to generate an additional income for the school. Each school also received 100 plants to encourage students to practice environmental conservation habits. Repairing damaged school furniture to be reused is also in progress with a total of 750 damaged tables and chairs from leading schools in Trincomalee DS Division being repaired in order to be distributed to rural schools in the district.

“We are glad that we have been able to partner with UNDP to implement this project. We hope to continue the work in these communities and across Sri Lanka with various partners and make a lasting difference to the community members” said Abhishek Jugran, Country Manager- Sri Lanka and Maldives, Coca-Cola Far East Ltd.

Coca-Cola Sri Lanka has designed various sustainability programs under the Coca-Cola Company’s global sustainability framework of ‘Me We World’, with an emphasis on Water and sanitation, Climate Protection and promoting Healthy Active Living. Coca-Cola Sri Lanka has a long standing partnership with UNDP and work with them on water and sanitation programs including the Every Drop Matters’ Project , the Kattankudy revitalization project and the conservation of the Kelani River basin. Coca-Cola also partnered with Habitat for Humanity, to undertake a revitalization project in Batticaloa in 2011 after the devastating floods by revitalizing wells and schools in the area. The Company also promotes grassroots level cricket through the ‘Coca-Cola Cricket Pathway’, a series of cricket camps organized with the Aravinda de Silva Cricket Foundation and Sri Lanka Cricket.

Coca-Cola in Sri Lanka 

Coca-Cola in Sri Lanka refreshes thousands of consumers throughout the country with an exciting range of beverages including Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Fanta Portello, Fanta Cream Soda, Lion Soda, Lion Tonic Water, Lion Gingerale, Lion Ginger Beer, Schweppes Tonic Water, Minute Maid Orange, Minute Maid Mango, Minute Maid Apple and Minute Maid Mixed Fruit. The Coca-Cola System in Sri Lanka employs more than 400 people. Coca-Cola undertakes a number of community development and sustainability projects as part of the Company’s Vision 2020 Sustainability agenda.

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