Coca-Cola is bringing safe drinking water and basic sanitation infrastructure to more than 12,500 villagers in Myanmar, including 1,000 school children, in partnership with Pact.

The clean water access, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program aims to improve the socioeconomic wellbeing of the communities neighboring Coca-Cola Pinya Beverages Myanmar’s bottling plant in Hmawbi Township.

The Coca-Cola Foundation is supporting the program – which is reaching citizens in Bwet Gyi, Sein Shwe Gone, Ye Su and Htein Sunn villages – through a grant of more than US$150,000.

Coca-Cola Brings Clean Water and Sanitation to Myanmar Villages

Coca-Cola Myanmar and Pact celebrated the program this week at a handover ceremony with local township authorities and community members.

“Lack of access to clean water is one of the greatest obstacles in economic growth and overcoming poverty in developing countries,” said Erica Tubbs Baadzhi, program director for Pact. “This has been a major challenge for Myanmar with its arid climate during summer months and infrastructure challenges.

She continued, “WASH programs like the one we have launched with The Coca-Cola Foundation are critical to provide community members with tools and education on the importance of hygiene and sanitation. When communities learn and understand the impact clean water, sanitation and hygiene have on their families and health, we see the citizens themselves take on leadership roles to maintain the infrastructure.”

Coca-Cola Brings Clean Water and Sanitation to Myanmar Villages

Coca-Cola and Pact are building three deep tube wells – each equipped with submersible pumps and gravity flow towers – to provide year-round access to clean water. The partners have constructed 26 latrines in three schools and installed water treatment units. They also are hosting training sessions to ensure local leaders can sustainably manage and maintain water systems on their own, and educating communities and school children on the importance of good hygiene.

“Water is a vital resource for communities and also the economy. For Coca-Cola, water is at the heart of our business. Since establishing our operations in Myanmar, we have prioritized responsible water resource management in our operations and with the community,” said Sandy Chapman, head of public affairs & communications, Coca-Cola Myanmar. “We are proud to partner with Pact on this important program to provide water access, sanitation and hygiene to community members in Hmawbi Township.”

As part of its global water stewardship commitment, Coca-Cola has supported more than 500 community water programs in more than 100 countries since 2005.