The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of food and beverage giant PepsiCo, has partnered with WaterAid to bring clean water to more than 10,000 people in two rural towns in the North Mecha District of Ethiopia. This is part of the company’s pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) agenda – a strategic end-to-end transformation with sustainability at the center of how it will create growth and value by inspiring positive change for the planet and people.
An 18-month project will bring clean water to more than 10,000 people in the Yegind and Abiyot Fana kebeles, whose water supply has been out of service for several years. Since the project commenced, water points have been repaired and a school water system is under construction.
Yaekob Metena, WaterAid Ethiopia Country Director, said:
"No one can thrive without access to clean water, a decent toilet or a place to wash hands. That’s why WaterAid is honored to work with the PepsiCo Foundation to improve access to safe water in Ethiopian communities. With safe water close to home, families are healthier and have more time for work and school. It’s great to work alongside a company that understands the importance of sustainable, community-led solutions."
"This project will complement and expand on the existing five-year Ethiopia-based Sustainable WASH Program in North Mecha, Dera and Farta Woredas of Amhara National Regional State, funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and convened by the Millennium Water Alliance. The program implements a systems-wide approach to universal access, looking at aspects of the total system including regulations and guidelines, functionality of service authorities, long-term strategic planning, and adaptation and learning."
Chris Wijnterp, General Manager at PepsiCo Foods Ethiopia, said:
"As a food and beverage company, PepsiCo is acutely aware of the critical role water plays in the food system, and our vision is that wherever in the world PepsiCo operates, water resources will be in a better state because of our presence. This project is a testament to that ambition and supports the health and wellbeing of communities and opens new opportunities through improved standards of living."
PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation work with partners — including WaterAid, Water.org, Safe Water Network, and the National Business Initiative — alongside community-driven and local organizations to close the gap in safe water access. One of their pep+ goals is to reach 100 million people with safe water access by 2030.
Over the last 15 years, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation have helped reach more than 80 million people with access to safe water through distribution, purification and conservation programs, putting them more than halfway to their goal. Since they started this work in 2006, the PepsiCo Foundation has invested more than $53 million in safe water access programs. And those investments have real impact on people’s daily lives by improving living conditions through clean water access closer to home and promoting water-saving agricultural technologies.
Wijnterp adds that the PepsiCo Foundation’s efforts to close the gap in safe water access further deepens the company’s commitment to Ethiopia as it continues to drive economic and social development. This builds on the announcement late last year that PepsiCo is finalizing an investment proposal of approximately USD 40 million (ETB 2 billion) to expand its Senselet snacks business in Ethiopia and is considering the possibility of further investments in the country to expand the company’s portfolio beyond snacks.