New York: The United Nations Human Settlements Programme has signed an agreement with soft drink conglomerate Coca-Cola to collaborate on projects aimed at improving community access to water and sanitation in India and Nepal.
Anna Tibaijuka, executive director of the UN-HABITAT, described the deal with Coca-Cola, India as “an innovative example of how public-private-community partnerships can help meet the challenge of the Millennium Development Goals.”
The Goals are a series of eight targets for reducing social and economic ills including the halving of the number of people without access to clean water and adequate sanitation by 2015.
The agreement includes the setting up of demonstration projects to increase water supply through rainwater harvesting and to better conserve and store water in Madhya Pradesh.
In West Bengal, 150 schools will be provided with safe drinking water and sanitation. Coca-Cola has also pledged to improve water management and sanitation in selected urban slums and rural areas in neighbouring Nepal.
Tibaijuka, who signed the agreement with Coca-Cola, India at a ceremony in Nairobi, UN-HABITAT’s headquarters said, “clean water and sanitation can make or break human development.”