World Water Day – What our project impacts on safe drinking water?

“Water is life”. This is commonly what we hear when working together with communities across the globe, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, in recognition that water is the essential building block for the living world. More than that, it is key to every aspect of human development, from the economy to a child’s education.

Today is World Water Day, where we focus on the importance of water as a resource and consider the progress that is needed to provide clean, safe water to everyone. Today, a quarter of the population of the world will drink from a water source that is contaminated, putting them at risk of contracting diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.

The UN have developed their 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals with the aim to provide access to safe water to all. At CO2balance, we continue to work towards these goals by rehabilitating village hand pumps and providing education on sanitation and health in rural communities. Below is a summary of some of the key impacts of our projects:

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Gold Standard visiting our cookstoves projects in Rwanda

In my last blog, I mentioned that our Rwanda cookstove and borehole projects had been selected by the Gold Standard to be part of a new video showcasing the multiple sustainable development benefits of Gold Standard certified projects.  It is with great pleasure that we share with you a few photos from Gold Standard’s visit to our improved cookstoves project in February.

We had the pleasure to meet with two families in Ngeruka sector, who kindly received us and shared their experience with our improved cookstove. Both families explained how the stove helped them save money by reducing their need for woodfuel and how the significant smoke level reduction positively impacted their health. They also described the growing interest in acquiring stoves in the community due to their multiple benefits.

Below are a few photos of the visit.

It is always a pleasure to meet with the beneficiaries of our projects and see the impacts of the stoves on the communities. We look forward to seeing the final video and sharing it on the blog soon!

International Women’s Day Gift to Women of Corner Apii and Apala Telela Borehole

As the world commemorates the International Women’s Day, the women of Corner Apii and Telela Apala villages in Kole district, Northern Uganda surely have a reason to celebrate this day. Corner Apii borehole was drilled by the government and shortly broke down leaving the community of over 800 people with no option but to turn to an open spring that they shared with animals. This was constantly contaminated by animal waste and caused waterborne diseases to them like typhoid, dysentery, diarrhea among others.

The women of Corner Apii village suffered most due to the breakdown of this borehole. They had to use unsafe sources of water as the alternative borehole was far and inaccessible. This made them less productive as they had to not only collect water but also look for firewood to purify the water for drinking.

After an 8 months breakdown, CO2balance has helped rehabilitate this borehole today and given hope for clean safe water to the Corner Apii and Apala Telela community once more.

‘I had a small business that generated some extra income for my family but I closed it because I did not have enough time to manage it. I had to farm in the morning and later do house chores before going in search of water and firewood. This left me tired and with no time to tend to my shop…..’ narrates 67 year old Beatrice Alyango who lives half a kilometer from the newly repaired borehole.

With the repair of the borehole, she hopes to re-open her shop as she will now have enough time to tend to it.

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Beatrice Alyango

45 year old Santa Ocen, married with 10 Children who lives half a kilometer from the borehole celebrates the new water source. When the borehole broke down, she constantly worried about her little girls traveling for long distances unaccompanied in search of water and firewood. The same water collected was not clean and they ended up sick and missing school. She is confident that cases of diseases will now be a thing of the past as she totally trusts borehole water.

Judith Okello aged 35, a mother to 4 children is also happy that this borehole was repaired because it is going to sort out the issue of domestic violence in homes.

‘Husbands would always beat up their wives if they delayed to return home from fetching water. They would accuse their wives of meeting up with other men while fetching water from these far off wells hence the delay. The women’s pleas fell on deaf ears and this trend would continue because the women had to collect water everyday….’ narrates Judith Okello.

Corner Apii is just one out of the 20 newly rehabilitated boreholes in 2017. Another borehole rehabilitated today (pictured below) is Apala Telela and the women say ‘Thank you’.

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Women of Apala Telela borehole

Visiting the Rwanda Projects

This month I had the chance to visit our borehole projects in Kayonza district, Rwanda. Accompanied by our partners Rwandans4water, I went to visit three boreholes that were rehabilitated under our programme. The photos below were taken at Mutembo where we met with the community leader, who described the tremendous impact of the borehole on the wellbeing of the families.

Children of the community also showed us the stream that they used to collect water from before the project started. Rehabilitated in late 2015, Mutembo borehole is now providing safe drinking water for 180 families in the community eliminating the need to fetch wood for water purification. It is always a pleasure to see the impacts of our projects and we are thankful for the good work being carried out by our project partners and technicians.

In my next blog, I will share a sneak peek of the Gold Standard’s visit to Rwanda – we are proud to say that our projects were selected to be part of a new video showcasing the multiple sustainable development benefits of GS projects.

We will keep you posted!