The management of Coca-Cola Company, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will soon launch a major safe drinking water and sanitation initiative, at the cost of 1.5 million dollars, to provide improved access to some communities in Ghana.

Mr. Philippe Ayivor, Franchise Manager, Coca-Cola Equatorial Africa, said the company was aware that, lack of access to clean, safe drinking water and sanitation facilities is the source of a lot of health problems in many communities in the country.

He was speaking at the first Coca-Cola media soiree organised by the company in Kumasi, on Friday.

The meeting was in a way to enable management to begin a line up of engagements with journalists that it hoped, would consolidate a much closer relationship, to bring satisfaction and excitement to consumers and Ghanaians as a whole.

He noted that “it is estimated that 40 per cent of the Ghanaian population lacks access to safe drinking water and 80 per cent lacks access to basic sanitation facilities”.

Mr Ayivor announced that the company in May and June this year, purchased and distributed 1,000 mosquito treated nets, worth one million dollars, to people in the Eastern Region of the country.

The Franchise Manager said they have over the years implemented a number of HIV and malaria education and prevention programmes, as part of their key social missions targeted at health matters.

“If people are not healthy, the nation’s development would come to a standstill saying, “we will not have a healthy workforce and we will be spending more on health as a nation, at the neglect of other needs.

“It is therefore important that we bring the health needs of the people to the fore for the appropriate attention and focus”, he added.

He commended the media for the information and education it had imparted to Ghanaians over the last few years, which had not only shaped perceptions, but has also helped to build an informed people, who are debating issues rather than look on passively.

Mr Ayivor said the company would continue to sponsor the Ghana Journalists Association Best Health Reporting award because they believe that health of any nation is its wealth.

Mr Antwi, Public Affairs Communication Manager of the Company said the Coca-Cola has a variety of quality products on the world market and would continue to make investments to get more products for consumers.

He said there is no manufacturing power in the world today and therefore welcomed complaints from consumers for investigations.

Nana Yaw Osei, Ashanti Regional chairman of the GJA urged the Company to roll out a programme to sponsor members of the Association, to upgrade their skills and performance.

Source: GNA