Partnership between the PepsiCo Foundation and WaterAid provides safe water access to communities in Ethiopia

Posted by
Jeff Greene
11 May 2023
Individuals, Employees and companies, Ethiopia, Campaigns, Fundraising resources, Water, Partnership, Education, Hygiene, Girls and women, Health, Maternal health
Adisae, seen here at the new tapstand, is a pupil at Kebessa Elementary school, Burie district, West Gojjam, Amhara, Ethiopia. November 2018.
Image: WaterAid/ Genaye Eshetu

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.

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.
Yaekob Metena, WaterAid Ethiopia Country Director
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.
Chris Wijnterp, General Manager at PepsiCo Foods Ethiopia

PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation work with partners—including WaterAid,, 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.


About the PepsiCo Foundation 

The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, invests in the essential elements of a sustainable food system with a mission to support thriving communities. Working with non-profits and experts around the globe, we're focused on helping communities obtain access to food security, safe water and economic opportunity. We strive for tangible impact in the places where we live and work—collaborating with industry peers, local and international organizations, and our employees to affect large-scale change on the issues that matter to us and are of global importance. 

About Senselet 

SUN Chips is distributed in Addis Ababa and other large Ethiopian cities and in Natural (salty), Habesha (locally spiced), Tomato and Paprika flavoured potato crisps in 3 different pack sizes. Senselet’s factory, located around 65km from Addis Ababa, is a modern production facility operating in line with high food safety and quality standards. The company now employs more than 150 people. Veris Investments set up Senselet with the aim to build a business that would contribute to the development of the potato value chain in Ethiopia. The company established strong business partnerships with local farmers over the past three years. It has been facilitating a farmer training program with the aim to increase yields and produce high quality potatoes. Partners that have substantially contributed to the success of Senselet include the Dutch Government – Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and Wageningen University and Research.

WaterAid is an international nonprofit working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a reality for everyone, everywhere within a generation. WaterAid works in more than 30 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 28 million people with clean water, 28 million people with decent toilets and 26 million people with good hygiene.


  • 750 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.
  • Two billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.
  • Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's around 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes. 

Every $2 invested in water and toilets returns an average of $8 in increased productivity.

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