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Coca-Cola donates Sh61 million to mitigate drought

Coca-Cola system in Kenya in collaboration with the Company’s Philanthropic arm, the Coca-Cola Foundation, has announced a contribution of approximately Sh61 million to complement ongoing national drought response interventions in the most affected regions of the country.

The donation is set to benefit the drought-stricken counties of Kajiado, Wajir and Mandera through an Integrated Drought Emergency Response Program implemented by The Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, aka CARE International.

The Vice President of Coca-Cola East and Central Africa Franchise, Debra Mallowah, met with the Deputy President of Kenya Rigathi Gachagua, who is coordinating the Kenya Governments drought response.

This was to brief him on the contribution and implementation of the emergency humanitarian donation. Mallowah was accompanied by the leadership of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA)-Kenya.

The program will have a range of interventions to promote household food security, which includes nutrition supplements, improving portable water access and promoting better hygiene practices, and is set to benefit approximately 50,000 people from 8,333 households for 4 months.

Mallowah said, “As an organization, we are seeking to enable local communities and the relevant implementing partners to use these resources to meet the immediate needs in all affected regions.”

“In line with our company’s purpose which is to refresh the world and make a difference, we are working with different partners to support efforts to enable the country to adapt to these unexpected shocks and stresses to their livelihoods,” she added.

Recently, Gachagua led a national appeal, on behalf of the government for well-wishers to join hands with the government in addressing the drought situation.

The current drought has been the most severe and longest in 40 years, with approximately 4.2 million Kenyans, across 22 Counties currently facing hunger, widespread livelihood losses and massive displacement.

According to a joint statement by the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) Humanitarian Network, the ASAL region of Kenya has endured three severe droughts in the last decade.

President of The Coca-Cola Foundation, Saadia Madsbjerg said, “We are committed to support communities that are impacted by natural disasters of this size and magnitude. We are grateful for the inclusive approach and manner being deployed to make a difference in the affected counties”.

Leah Kaguara – CARE Kenya Country Director, noted that the current drought has had severe impacts across all sectors of society. From education to loss of economic well-being, communities have been stripped of their dignity due to the worsening impacts of climate change.

“Through this engagement with The Coca-Cola Foundation, we will reach the most vulnerable communities with life-sustaining nutrition supplements, improve portable water access, and promote better hygiene practices”, Kaguara stressed.

This is a step towards alleviating the misery that the affected individuals have experienced and restore in them hope, added Kaguara.

By Catherine Muindi

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