Water, sanitation projects get funding from Coca-Cola Foundation

The Coca-Cola Foundation will award a total of $1 million to support four innovative projects to improve water resources and sanitation in developing nations. The projects were selected by the Global Water Challenge (GWC) business coalition and Ashoka's Changemakers through "Tapping Local Innovation: Unclogging the Water and Sanitation Crisis," an online competition calling for groundbreaking solutions to some of the world's most pressing water and sanitation challenges...

ATLANTA, GA, Dec. 19, 2008 -- The Coca-Cola Foundation will award a total of $1 million to support four innovative projects to improve water resources and sanitation in developing nations. The projects were selected by the Global Water Challenge (GWC) business coalition and Ashoka's Changemakers through "Tapping Local Innovation: Unclogging the Water and Sanitation Crisis," an online competition calling for groundbreaking solutions to some of the world's most pressing water and sanitation challenges. A total of 265 projects from social entrepreneurs in 54 countries around the world were submitted to the competition.

The projects receiving funding are:
Naandi Foundation: Clean drinking water for underserved populations in India
Manna Energy Foundation: Water treatment plants to create fuel for families in rural Rwanda
Ecotact: Treatment systems that safely transform waste into fuel and fertilizer for Kenyan communities
Clean Shop: Public education to support clean latrines for South African schools

"This collaborative competition tapped the power of human ingenuity and demonstrated that solutions exist to local water and sanitation issues," said Paul Faeth, Executive Director of GWC. "With Coca-Cola's $1 million grant, we are able to further fund projects that we believe will start a ripple effect in their communities and create scalable, replicable and sustainable models that can be applied around the world."

"While these four projects are among the most inspiring of the applications we received, all of our submissions have evoked discussion and helped to build community in the sector," said Charlie Brown, the Executive Director of Ashoka's Changemakers. "We look forward to seeing new energy and innovation in addressing the global water crisis in the years to come."

Applications for the award were submitted through the Ashoka's Changemakers Web site (www.changemakers.net) between January and March of 2008. The judges included Ed Cain, Vice President-Grant Programs, Hilton Foundation; Ian Callaghan, Head of Microfinance Institutions Group, Morgan Stanley; Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN; and Tanvi Nagpal, Director of Water and Sanitation Initiatives, Global Water Challenge. Further details on each of the organizations and projects that will receive awards from GWC, Ashoka Changemakers and The Coca-Cola Foundation are as follows:

Naandi Foundation, India: Community-based Safe Drinking Water Systems: Through a collaborative partnership between villages, technology partners and the states, the Naandi Foundation is facilitating the availability of safe drinking water to citizens in the Andhra Pradesh and Punjab states of India. The village panchayats support the development of water purification plants in the villages, and the partnership supplies water to villagers at a nominal user fee, which pays for the operations and maintenance that make the plant sustainable. A public education program in the villages also creates an environment for greater understanding of health, hygiene and sanitation issues among local citizens.

Manna Energy Foundation, Rwanda: Developing Another World in Rural Rwanda: With funding through carbon credits, the Manna Energy Foundation is installing close to 500 water treatment systems and biogas generators for secondary schools in Rwanda. The project will reach a population of 236,000 students, which amounts to three percent of the Rwandan population. The water treatment plants will use gravity and photovoltaic filtration systems, and the biogas generators will take human and kitchen waste and capture the waste methane, which can be used in high efficiency cook stoves.

Ecotact - Innovating Sanitation, Kenya: Iko-Toilet Thinking Beyond a Toilet: Ecotact is implementing an innovative model for installing and operating pay-for-use toilets in urban areas of Kenya by leveraging recent innovations in environmental sanitation. Waterless urinals reduce water consumption; urine is segregated and sold as fertilizer, and some facilities will use human waste to generate methane gas which reduces sewage disposal. Each toilet offers additional services, tailored to meet the needs of the local community: a small business, showers, and an ATM. The diverse array of funding sources includes user fees, advertising revenues, and the leasing of a small space to microentrepreneurs.

Clean Shop, South Africa: Schools Sanitation Improvement and Enhancement Project: Clean Shop employs 350 people and conducts daily cleaning and hygiene services for schools, universities, mines, supermarkets, and gas stations. In partnership with the University of Venda, Clean Shop educates parents with children in public schools to clean and operate local school latrines. It is poised to operate in many more schools in partnership with the South African government.

About Global Water Challenge
Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations, which have joined forces to catalyze transformational change in the water and sanitation sector. We believe that we have both the resources and the will to live in a world in which everyone can drink clean water, and use a safe toilet. Our mission is to generate a global movement to meet the urgent need for safe water and sanitation by spurring collective awareness and investment in innovation by corporate, public and nongovernmental actors. GWC focuses on collaborative learning, connecting leaders, and investing in sustainable, replicable, and scaleable projects.

About Ashoka's Changemakers
Ashoka's Changemakers is building the world's first global online "open source" community that competes to surface the best social solutions to the world's most pressing issues. We focus on thematic, collaborative competitions, inviting innovators from around the world to profile and collaborate with a global community of investors, thought leaders and enthusiasts. To date Changemakers has launched 14 successful collaborative competitions and attracted more than 2,000 high-impact solutions from more than 125 countries. Changemakers builds on Ashoka's 26 year history identifying and selecting leading social entrepreneurs and its belief in "everyone a changemaker" global society.

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, POWERade, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No.1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate.

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