Donkeys in Eritrea

It is not only people that benefit from access to clean water in our carbon projects! In Eritrea, donkeys are a great asset to families as they are used for fetching water, collecting wood, transportation and farming.

Eritrea Donkey 2 2019

Mrs. Miriam Belay is a house wife who lives in Adimussa, in Zoba Maekel. Her husband is a farmer and has three children. They have livestock and the use of donkeys is of great benefit especially on the responsibilities undertaken by women.

The family own two donkeys which are used mostly for collecting water, fetching wood and transportation. She said, “Each morning my children and myself used to walk up to three hours a day for collecting water which was very tiresome and time consuming.” She added that the water was dirty and people were getting sick. The animals were also drinking from the same source. In the dry season, as the water was scarce, they had to walk further to get water.

Since the rehabilitation of the hand pumps, Miriam, her children including the donkeys had to walk only for 15 minutes. She said they have access to clean water and the donkeys could easily get water from trough. The repair of the hand pumps had a huge impact on the people and livestock particularly on donkeys. The donkeys are healthy and save their energy.

Eritrea Donkey 4 2019

Moreover, she said that donkeys in the rural areas have huge contributions on helping families. Mrs. Miriam said that she uses in most of her daily activities like going to the market, to the mill, collect wood and so on.

She believes that the work being done by CO2balance has made a vital difference to their lives and livestock by providing clean water and reduced the burden of walking long distance to get water and preventing them from getting waterborne diseases.

If you wish to contribute towards sustainable development in Eritrea, help fight climate change and offset your personal or company carbon footprint, please Contact Us or email enquiries@co2balance.com to hear more about the positive impacts of our projects!

blog post 5

Advertisements

VCS Issuance Kenya Cookstoves 2018!

This year, CO2balance have successfully issued over 30,000 VERs under VCS (now Verra). This applies to efficient cookstove projects in Kenya located in the constituencies of Mathira, Eldoret East, and Keiyo district.

The issuance comes 7 years after the initial distribution of cookstoves in these areas. Among the stoves that were distributed was the Carbon Zero Kenya (CZK) stove model which was designed by a stove specialist and manufactured in a factory in Mombasa, Kenya on behalf of CO2balance.

The majority of stoves are still in good shape and continue to be used by households in the project areas. The stoves have helped families use less firewood, some for over 7 years now which amounts to over 170,000 tonnes of wood saved over the project’s lifetime.

The projects have had a long-term impact on improved indoor air-quality and health benefits for stove users who are mainly women and children. They also reduce the rate of deforestation in local areas.

Stove 3

Female stove user

If you would like to learn more about CO2balance efficient cookstove projects in Kenya or elsewhere, please get in touch at enquiries@co2balance.com or phone our office on (+44) 1823 332233 to find out more on how to get involved with our projects and offset your carbon footprint.

 

Kenya Boreholes Project: Local Stakeholder Consultation

At the end of October, I travelled to Kenya to host a local stakeholder meeting for new borehole projects located on the coast in Kilifi County.

The coastal county is largely rural and is frequented by tourists during the dry seasons for its white sandy beaches stretching 265km along the Kenyan coastline. Its main economic activities are tourism and fishing, however, I was there for a different reason which was to address the lack of safe water sources for the local residents.

I visited Kilifi County once before in April 2018 and found that nearly every community borehole had been chained up by the county government due to the borehole either being broken or producing unsafe water for consumption. The boreholes had remained locked up due to a lack of funds to fix them so the communities had to resort to unsafe water sources such as open wells to collect their water.

The months before my next visit in October were spent by local field staff identifying broken boreholes to be rehabilitated.

In late October we organised to hold a Gender Sensitive Local Stakeholder Consultation meeting which took place in a community hall in Kilifi South sub-county. Up to 50 people attended the meeting which welcomed county government officials, community members, local NGO representatives and borehole managers.

During this meeting, we collected everyone’s views and feedback on the borehole project to ensure the project is designed in a way that benefits the users of the boreholes. Overall the feedback from the meeting was very positive with stakeholders urging the start of the project.

The rehabilitation of the boreholes is to begin in December 2018 when they will start crediting. The people of Kilifi county will have a reliable safe water source close to their homesteads reducing their time collecting water and also firewood previously used to boil unsafe water. CO2balance will monitor the projects annually to measure the health benefits to the communities and gender impacts of the project. This project contributes positively to the following SDG’s:

How to Reduce Waste for Zero Waste Week 2018

As we come to the end of Zero Waste Week 2018, what have you done to minimise waste in your life?

This can be wasted food, throwing away plastic packaging to landfill, unworn clothes in your wardrobe, wasting water and energy. The one we hear the most about in the media is plastic waste. Plastic waste in the form of plastic bags, toothbrushes, disposable water bottles, straws and much more is polluting the earth and its oceans.

Plastic pollution is so bad because it takes the longest to decompose. Plastic waste can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfill. Although recycling is the best option, still many plastics used in packaging all around the world are not currently recycled.

Whether we are talking about greenhouse gas emissions or waste pollution, there are steps everyone can take to reduce both. For waste, try to cut down on your spending on food and clothes, only buy what is necessary. Donate any excess clothes you don’t use to charity. Take shorter showers to save water and fill washing machines and dishwashers full. Avoid buying things with too much plastic packaging or check whether it can be recycled before purchasing.

To reduce your greenhouse gas pollution, substitute cars for public transport or carshare on your commute. Cycle and walk more. Source products locally and turn down domestic appliances in your home such as cooking, heating and water to the minimum.

These are all ways that will minimise your waste and carbon footprint on the environment.

Issuances in Eritrea!

In the last month, borehole projects in the country of Eritrea have credited over 133,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent saved! The equivalent in weight is 88 fully grown Blue Wales, the largest mammal on Earth, or 1683 heavily laden Boeing 737’s!

The projects in the areas of Zoba Maekel and Zoba Debub, Eritrea generate emissions reductions by displacing the need to boil water for purification. This is the most common method people use to purify contaminated water from unsafe sources such as open wells, rivers and streams. The main cost people incur to boil water is time, wood is freely collected from surrounding forests and farm fields causing local deforestation.

Within the household traditional 3-stone stoves, used for boiling water, pollute the air with smoke which contributes to a range of illnesses and acute health impacts. Traditionally, women are the main cooks who tend to these stoves multiple times a day. They are also the primary child carers meaning the adverse effects of smoke disproportionately fall on women and children.

Studies have linked early childhood acute lower-respiratory infections such as asthma and pneumonia to child exposure to smoke. For adults, risks of lung cancer, cataracts, bronchitis and more have been associated with prolonged smoke exposure.

With clean water, project participants have increased health benefits from a reduction in stomach and smoke related illnesses. They spend less time collecting water and boiling is eradicated. There is less deforestation in the local area and furthermore, the projects contribute towards the following SDG’s:

Picture1

To date, these projects combined have produced over 436,994,145 litres of clean water in Eritrea. If you wish to contribute towards sustainable development in Eritrea, help fight climate change and offset your personal or company carbon footprint, please Contact Us or email enquiries@co2balance.com to hear more about the positive impacts of our projects!

 

Final Kenya Cookstove Verification and CSR Project Visit

In April I travelled to Kenya to visit three cookstove projects that we have in the counties of Meru, Mathira and Eldoret with the CarbonZero Kenya team. In addition, I also went to see two CSR projects that co2balance are implementing for a client in the Aberdare’s county which will involve the restoration of community dispensaries which provide consultancy and medicines for minor illnesses.

CSR Dispensaries

The two dispensaries included in the CSR project include Escarpment Dispensary and Mbau-Ini Dispensary. Both dispensaries receive an average of up to 30 patients a day and over 600 patients per month. They act as the first point of medical contact for local communities and treat common illnesses such as malaria, common flu and cold, skin conditions and provide vaccinations for children.

The restoration work for the clinics is very similar. Both will receive building repairs including new floors, painting of internal and external walls. Both will also have new latrines installed which will provide more hygienic toilets for visitors to the clinics and the staff.

Land around the two dispensaries will be reclaimed for productive purposes including growing vegetables and providing safe environment for children to play in the grounds. Fences around the dispensaries will be repaired to increase security for the stored medicines and to keep animals away.

I am excited to see the clinics once the restoration works are finished. It is surprising how some colourful paint and a neater outside area can completely change the look of a building and make it more welcoming for patients.

Final Cookstove Project Verifications

While in Kenya we also visited three cookstove project areas in Meru, Mathira and Eldoret. It was interesting to see the contrast between the geographies of the areas and the different housing materials used.

Cookstove beneficiaries were very grateful for the stoves and a lot of the ones we saw were in excellent condition which is fantastic given some are more than 7 years old! People have really looked after the stoves and the main reason for this is that they use less wood fuel compared to traditional stove alternatives. Therefore maintaining the stove means that people spend less time collecting wood fuel for cooking.

In addition, the stoves are more efficient in transferring fuel to heat meaning they cook food faster which coincides with people’s lifestyles in the villages who make majority of their income from agriculture and are required to be out in their fields for a large part of the day.

To summarise, I would like to say a big thank you to the staff at the dispensaries who work hard to keep the local communities in good health and thanks to the cookstove beneficiaries who welcomed us into their homes and offered us delicious bananas. Furthermore, I would like to say a huge thank you to the CarbonZero team in Kenya who do fantastic work and who made the trip so enjoyable and provided the best company for my two weeks in Kenya.

COP23 Commitments

Last week in Bonn, Germany, the latest round of United Nations Climate negotiations were hosted by Fiji. The talks brought together 197 Parties to progress the implementation of the Paris Agreement starting in 2020. The overarching themes of the negotiations included getting on track towards the Paris Agreement objectives and ultimately achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, something the Gold Standard has formally recognised in its new guidelines – Gold Standard for the Global Goals.

Key actions at COP23 included Syria announcing it would sign the Paris Agreement. The UK and Canada also lead a new initiative to phase out coal use for electricity generation. Traditional coal powered plants are significant contributors to climate change and impose localised negative pollution effects. Eradicating the use of coal is needed by 2030 for developed nations and no later than 2050 for developing countries in order to meet the critical limit of 1.5°C set in the Paris Agreement.

Fortunately, the plummeting cost of generating electricity from renewables makes clean growth a more viable option for many jurisdictions. This can be helped further by more finance being directed towards climate action. This gathered a lot of attention at COP23 with many country members announcing funds to support the poorest and most vulnerable countries negatively affected by climate change.

Overall, the conference made important progress on implementing the Paris agreement with the international community pledging to take more ambitious action to mitigate climate change. We look forward to the next round of talks, COP24, which takes place in December 2018 in Poland.