The Coca‑Cola Foundation, The Coca‑Cola Company in Kenya and its bottling partner Coca‑Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) contributed over Kshs. 60 million to complement government and community organisations efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The support is part of Coca‑Cola’s global efforts to help control the spread of COVID-19 and to help the most vulnerable with critical needs. “We value our customers, employees and the communities within which we operate. We are therefore playing our part and building on our long experience of making a difference in Kenya and working closely with the government and NGOs to help prevent further spread of the virus,” explains Phillipine Mtikitiki, Vice President and General Manager of Coca‑Cola East and Central Africa Franchise.

Coca‑Cola is helping to raise Covid-19 awareness and provide handwashing points in the densely populated informal settlements of Kibera and Mukuru in Nairobi. In addition to providing handwashing stations and creating public awareness, Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) will use the Kshs. 10 million received from The Coca‑Cola Foundation to enhance hand hygiene and sanitation by providing water, soap and sanitizers to the communities in these areas. They will also provide emergency food support to ensure that the most vulnerable families don’t starve as a result of food shortages and price spikes occasioned by the impact of the disease.

SHOFCO will also upscale its community outreach efforts using volunteers and community health workers to conduct door-to-door awareness, distribute illustrated Kiswahili information pamphlets and identify anyone with possible symptoms for referral to the Ministry of Health for quarantine and testing. Screening will also continue at SHOFCO’s clinics. “This grant will enable us to scale-up our door-to-door Coronavirus awareness campaign as well as conduct screening tests in partnership with the Ministry of Health. For these densely populated areas, it is imperative that we continue to empower the communities with information to protect themselves and their families as we set up more handwashing stations to help them maintain the required hygiene standards to control the spread of the virus,” said SHOFCO Founder, Kennedy Odede.

CCBA Kenya has further donated hydration products, liquid soap and a water bowser worth Kshs. 1.2 million to Kenya Red Cross to support its ongoing public sanitization and sensitization awareness campaign to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The partnership will enhance access to clean water and improved hygiene through supporting the supply of portable water and 1,600 litres of liquid soap to residents of Mukuru in Nairobi and in Kondele and Obunga in Kisumu.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak many Kenyans are confined in their houses as they observe the stay-at-home measures put in place by the government. As a result, the demand for water as a resource has increased. Through this donation, we are easing the challenges that many residents are facing as they try to access clean water to practice good hygiene,” said Xavier Selga, Managing Director of CCBA Kenya. Dr Asha Mohammed, Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross Society, said: “The contribution we have received goes a long way in supporting our public sanitization initiatives and also provides some relief to our volunteers who are working around the clock to reach as many Kenyans as possible.”

Amref Health Africa in Kenya is supporting young women and girls from informal settlements around Nairobi to produce masks and surgical gowns that will be sold affordably to local communities and hospitals across the country to help in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This is an opportunity for young women to gain skills that are enabling them to earn a living at a time when many businesses have been disrupted. The Foundation is providing Amref with Kshs. 17.5 million to support not only this initiative, but to also build the capacity of health workers working in medical facilities, and to provide water to communities in need across the country. Amref Health Africa in Kenya’s Country Director Dr Meshack Ndirangu, said: “The funds we have received from Coca‑Cola will see us reach communities in Nairobi’s informal settlement of Kibera and Muoroto; Kisumu Ndogo in Mombasa; and Kilifi counties respectively. We will not stop until the battle against this pandemic is won.”

CCBA has also leveraged its wide distribution network across the country to deliver 30,000 liters of sanitizers manufactured by Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) to where they are needed most. “We are offering the use of our extensive product distribution network to collect and distribute consignments of free hand sanitizers to County Commissioner offices across the country for distribution to the public,” added Selga, “As part of our contribution to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we repurposed our marketing budget of more than Kshs. 30 million towards mass communication to create awareness on hygiene to our communities through stay safe messaging using marketing platforms such as social media, radio and TV and the labels for our Coca‑Cola and Dasani Water products”, explained Mtikitiki.