As my Ugandan colleague Andrew already indicated in his previous post, we had a very intense one week in Uganda in early July visiting rehabilitated boreholes and meeting with our in-country partners to assess the on-going works. I feel very lucky that I had a chance to see our projects on the ground and to be able to talk the communities. Some of them shared their joy about the clean water the boreholes have been delivering since the rehabilitation and some other provided invaluable feedback how we can improve the projects to make an even bigger impact locally. Following up the lessons learned during this trip, we are currently working closely with our in-country partners to launch a more participative WASH sensitization program. We are hoping that this sensitization programme will mobilize those communities too that seemed a bit more reluctant to engage actively in the projects and encourage those communities who have been doing an amazing work to keep the boreholes safe and running.
The most rewarding part of the journey was to see that we are working in an area where these kinds of projects are very much needed. The decades long civil war has left the Northern districts without viable infrastructure for water supplies. Most of the population have relied on NGOs for years to provide the most basic services needed for their every-day life, however as the situation stabilized and international NGOs left, the government could not yet fill the gap in providing these services. It is great to see that through the carbon component we can commit to at least a 7-year period to maintain boreholes and to provide clean water services in Alebtong, Dokolo, Otuke and Kole. By involving the communities in the every-day running of the boreholes and providing education on WASH issues, we want to ensure the sustainability of the clean water supplies, not only during the lifespan of the project but hopefully well beyond.
At the end of last week we received an update from our partners, Concern Universal, in Malawi that a total of 62 boreholes have been repaired and are now providing clean water for local communities. This marks a significant milestone in the project to date as it means we can soon submit to the Gold Standard for registration of our 4 VPAs.
The approach we are taking in Malawi is centred firmly on the community; before making any repairs the community must have organised a committee to manage the borehole. This committee is responsible for ensuring that some basic materials and labour are provided by the community before work can begin. We see this as an important step in the process as it affirms the communities buy in and ownership of the boreholes. Without this, it is unlikely that they will effectively manage the resource and further borehole breakdowns are likely to occur.
As you may already know from previous blogs, over the last few months Carbon Zero Kenya have been busy implementing the Umeme Women’s Improved Cookstove project in West Kisumu. The 19th June marked an important landmark in the project lifecycle; the grand opening of the Umeme Women’s Cookstove Enterprise. Wycliffe Odumo, our regional coordinator based in Kisumu, mentioned that there was a real sense of excitement and commitment among the women and local community which bodes well for the success of the project.
The opening day of the Umeme Women’s Jiko Enterprise
With all the infrastructure now in place and after a week long training session, the stove production phase has taken off rapidly with over 20 stoves being produced each day.
Fully assembled stoves undergoing a 5 day curing process before they are ready to be sold to the local community
Over the coming weeks more emphasis will be placed on sales and marketing, which will involve raising community awareness through demonstrations as well as broadcasting radio adverts in the local area.
The Official Stove enterprise Banner
Having visited the project first-hand earlier this year, it is remarkable to see how much progress has been made in such a short amount of time, which is all thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team in Kenya and the enthusiasm of the Umeme Women’s Group. Further updates will follow soon.
I had the pleasure of joining Moses, Virginia and our team of Community Project Officers to lead the 2nd monitoring period site visit for our CDM Programme of Activities (PoA) in Kenya. We have two Component Project Activities (CPAs) under our PoA, one in Eldoret East and one in Mathira District; we had to show our Project Auditor around both CPAs to verify the emissions reductions from the 2 sites. In all, we visited 40 households, all of whom were very happy with our stove and the Auditor confirmed that he was satisfied that the project was achieving the emissions reductions that we reported.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the smooth running of these site visits some 650 km apart and for making my stay in Kenya a pleasurable one as always. Big shout out to Francis for his smooth driving and ingenious method of keeping up with the news on a windy day when you feel like standing up.
My colleague , Eszter and I have just got off a grueling week of field visits where we covered more than 1500km on land visiting different boreholes repaired by co2balance in Alebtong, Otuke and Dokolo districts of Uganda and assessing the next ten we are to repair in our first project in the East of Uganda In Kaliro. We analysed their systems to understand how we can improve on the service delivery to the communities and ensure the boreholes are continuously serving safe water to them. Without a doubt it was quite gratifying to see all the boreholes in perfect physical condition. It wasn’t too much of a puzzle understanding as well that community participation was making the project a much better prospect than those with lesser degrees of involvement.
Maintenance in progress at Adekirwai borehole
Water from Adekirwai borehole in Alebtong district in a mineral water bottle
Having seen firsthand the impact of adequate community mobilisation, we shall now embark on a WASH program to sensitize the communities on the impact health and sanitation practices have on the provision of safe water.
Without a doubt, Ester was satisfied with what we have achieved and she knows that the efforts we are putting in are making a huge impact in the lives of thousands of people. In the end, only a picture can describe this.
Completed maintenance work at Goi B in Otuke district
Eszter and the ever reliant Baba Richard “Omumerika” during a stop on the way back to Kampala