The Coca-Cola Foundation is investing $100,000 to improve water supply systems in the Takhtakupir district of Karakalpakstan within the UN Joint Programme on the Aral Sea

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The Need

According to the United Nations, currently more than 40% of the world’s population suffers from water scarcity, 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and over 1.7 billion living in river basins need additional sources of freshwater.

The drying up of the Aral Sea has caused a range of social, economic and environmental consequences in Karakalpakstan. As a result, only 50.8% of the local population has access to a centralized water supply system, while remote communities have locally-established water sources, including from artesian drills with the depth of 400-500 meters. Currently, residents of the “Makpalkol” community of the “Atakol” Village council of citizens (VCC), including a local school, kindergarten and other social institutions, have access to the drinking water through a few water hand pumps and from the water tanks delivered to the village. This negatively impacts the health and sanitation conditions of the local villagers.

The new project "Improving Access to Drinking Water Supply for the Rural Communities in the Aral Sea Region", funded by the New World Program (NWP), a collaboration between The Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF) and Global Water Challenge (GWC), envisions several activities to restore the water distribution station in 2018. This will be done through the procurement and installation of new purification equipment, repair of the station and installation of the water pipelines. The project will provide 1,948 people access to purified artesian water to be supplied for their needs, as well as to improve their sanitation conditions.  Founded in 2006, GWC is as an independent 501(c)3 organization that offers a leading coalition of civil society and private sector organizations working to bring universal access to clean water and sanitation. GWC has a long history of partnership with The Coca-Cola System on its sustainability agenda.

Improving access to basic social services through community engagement and innovative social projects is among the key objectives of the UN Joint Programme “Building the resilience of communities affected by the Aral Sea disaster through a Multi-Partner Human Security Fund for the Aral Sea”. Therefore, based on the joint efforts of the UNDP, the regional Government of Karakalpakstan and Takhtakupir district hokimiyat (municipality), the above water supply project was supported by the NWP

What is the New World Program?

“New World: Inclusive Sustainable Human Development Initiatives” program is a leading program focused upon building sustainable communities through supporting the SDGs. The NWP was initially launched in 2014 by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) as a partnership mechanism with The Coca-Cola Foundation to encourage participation of civil society organizations (such as non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations) to support innovative, inclusive and sustainable solutions for UN Sustainable Development Goals in the areas of water and sanitation and youth and women’s empowerment.

Today, the program is administered by GWC, which connects civil society, government and private organizations across sectors to build sustainable communities.

Benefiting People through Application of the Human Security Concept

The current project applies the human security approach in its implementation. As demonstrated by the ongoing UN Joint Programme, funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security, the human security approach can serve as an effective framework to address complex human security needs of populations in the Aral Sea area. Its principles of comprehensive development, people-centeredness, context-specificity and inclusiveness can serve instrumental for planning and implementing effective interventions supporting individuals and communities affected by the Aral Sea disaster. The approach is intended to create positive linkages between multiple sectors (i.e. economic, social, political, environmental, health, etc.) and address these complex and interlinked challenges.

Within the new project, it is also envisioned that a Community based Water Management Group is established to ensure the proper use and maintenance of the renewed equipment and monitor the whole work of the water supply facility. A series of workshops on sanitation and hygiene will be held in educational institutions and health facilities with the participation of the local population and the district administration. It is expected that the best practices obtained from this project will be useful for other communities to consider for possible replication and will contribute to  further promoting environmental, economic and health security in the Aral Sea region.

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