USAID E-WASH PARTNERS NIGERIAN BOTTLING COMPANY TO BOOST URBAN WATER SUPPLIES
By Emesakoru Enifome
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Effective Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Services (E-WASH) program, implemented by RTI International, announced a private sector partnership with the Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC), a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, to strengthen and expand the delivery of safe drinking water in Nigeria’s urban cities. The four-year USAID E-WASH program improves the availability of clean water to households in select Nigerian states.
David Spiro, Senior Director for Learning, Energy, and Environment for Development at RTI said: ”Partnering with NBC is just the latest example of innovative ways USAID works with the private sector to solve some of the world’s most complex problems. Our team celebrates the significance of this private sector engagement which enhances the impact and achievements that the USAID E-WASH program has already had on Nigeria’s urban water and sanitation sectors.”
While Nigeria has a population of more than 203 million people, 71 million do not have access to clean water and 130 million do not have access to basic sanitation. This is especially harmful as the ability to wash hands with clean water is vital to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
USAID will work with NBC to provide professional development for over 300 state water board (SWB) leaders to improve urban water services for its most important customer, Nigerians. This collaboration with one of Coca-Cola’s largest bottlers of drinks focuses on creating a leading standard corporate culture for partner SWB staff.
Matthieu Seguin, Managing Director of the Nigerian Bottling Company said: ”This exciting partnership delivers on Coca-Cola’s responsibility to respect and protect water resources in a unique way. By sharing our management expertise, we can enable long-term change in Nigeria’s water management and service delivery by replicating our success for delivering these essential services in cities across the country.”
NBC will provide continuous coaching and mentorship to SWB executives, senior managers, and young professionals from state water utilities in Abia, Delta, Imo, Niger, and Taraba. They will learn business processes and management approaches to make urban water services more efficient and effective. They will also study NBC’s water quality and sustainability targets, monitoring and safety systems, and staff incentive structures.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the USAID E-WASH program and NBC have adopted an online training approach to ensure the safety of all participants, while continuing to build the capacity of SWB staff.