A $4.26 million grant to provide safe-water access to communities in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala by December 2020 is to be provided to WaterAid, an international non-profit, by PepsiCo Foundation. This is part of the foundation’s endeavour to expand its water-access initiatives in India to positively impact 200,000 people in communities around PepsiCo’s plants.

Over the next three years, WaterAid in India will focus on implementing multiple water-related solutions to improve water security for the targeted communities. This includes increasing access to clean water, building community and government capacity to manage water resources including regular water-quality testing, conducting trainings for operation and maintenance, educating community members to adopt sustainable sanitation practices, and promoting water conservation and recharge measures including rainwater harvesting.

The project is in line with Goal 6 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals covering access to safe water and sanitation, as well as PepsiCo’s global mission – Performance with Purpose 2025 agenda – to provide access to safe water to 25 million people in the world’s most at-risk areas. Before announcing this new grant, the foundation had invested over $17 million in India to provide safe water and sanitation solutions in water-stressed areas, claiming to have helped 10 million people. Some of these programmes are partnerships with NGOs like Safe Water Network (to set up more than 100 community reverse osmosis [RO] water stations in India) and Water.Org to provide access to safe water and sanitation through micro-lending.

CB’s questions on tracking the progress of these initiatives, impact assessment, and the foundation’s exact role received no response from the company.