Coca-Cola Pakistan is providing a grant of Rs. 19 million to the Indus Earth Trust for a project entitled Water for Women, focusing on water replenishment access and conservation and replenishment of ground water and rainwater, in Kohistan Union Council area of District Thatta. The project will especially focus on the local women, who presently are tasked with the duty of fetching water, walking several kilometres to perform this arduous task, even in the hot summer months.
Catalysing IWRM (Integrated Water Resource Management) through a combination of indigenous knowledge and modern interventions of communication tools, the project will cover about 600 households in some 40 villages. Water harvesting will be done through 10 lined water reservoirs with a combined capacity of approximately 100,000 gallons. Some existing reservoirs will be restored as they have collapsed and new ones will be located in line with rain water run off channels. Rehabilitation of 20 dug wells will be done through brick-lining, capping and installation of hand-pumps. The water extracted will be collected in covered tanks and then and distributed through channels for household use, kitchen gardening, and for troughs for the livestock.
Other key components of the project include construction of check dams to capture water from hill streams, to irrigate over 1000 acres, setting up of Community Based Organizations (CBOs), trainings to build the capacity of women local leaders, awareness generation of awareness of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), etc. The project implementation period will be one year.
“Water replenishment remains a priority goal of Coca-Cola’s CSR strategy throughout the world, and our focus is especially on marginalized communities,” stated Rizwan U. Khan, General Manager Coca-Cola Pakistan and Afghanistan. ”This is a part of the pledge which The Coca-Cola Company made in 2007, to give back to the environment all the water that we use for our business, by year 2020. This target was actually already met by 2015, but we are continuing with doing more to replenish water in our markets.”
The project implementing partner, Indus Earth Trust is an experienced not-for-profit organization established in 2000, and working in the area of sustainable development to aid neglected coastal communities in Pakistan. Speaking about the partnership with Coca-Cola, IET’s CEO, Shahid Khan stated that the project will lead to meeting SDG 3 and SDG 6, and encourage reverse migration, as rural people will tend to return to their home villages from trying to find livelihood in cities, if their own areas are provided at least with water for their traditional occupation of agriculture and livestock keeping.
IET has previously partnered with Coca-Cola and UNDP in providing potable water to 30 villages in interior Sindh. This project provided water on tap for the very first time to the beneficiaries, using solar pumps to extract the water and pump it to an overhead tank, for distribution as close to households as the communities require.