Last week we received confirmation from the Gold Standard that our first 4 micro scale borehole projects in Malawi had been Listed. This is a land mark in what has been a slow moving project but one that carries an enormous amount of potential.
The project aims to improve access to clean water in one of the world’s poorest countries, ranked 160th out of 182 in the Human Development Index. In fact according to the United Nations about 74% of the population still lives below the poverty line of $1.25 a day and an incredible 90% are below the $2 a day threshold.
On top of this Malawi is considered a water stressed country with less than 1,700m3 of fresh water per capita. This problem is amplified by remarkable population growth, especially in its urban areas. Future water demand projections predict that Malawi will fall to less than 1,000 m3 of fresh water per capita as early as 2015.
Against this back drop only 65% of Malawi’s population has access to improved water and sanitation. Therefore to achieve its 2015 MDG targets more than 6 million additional people will require access to clean water and sanitation facilities.
Our projects are playing a small but vital role in helping Malawi meet its MDG targets and we have now repaired more than 60 boreholes which are currently providing communities with clean and safe water, while also helping to avoid current and future GHG emissions.
Last week we welcomed two new Carbon Projects Officers into the team to help manage the growing portfolio of projects that CO2balance are implementing. Both Antonis and Ethan completed their masters degrees at Edinburgh University and come to us full of knowledge on all things carbon. New members joining the team is always an exciting time for both old and new alike and we can’t wait to see what fresh ideas they bring to the company.
Over the coming weeks and months I am sure you will get to know them more as they begin to pick up their own projects as well as contributing to the blog but until then I hope you will join us in welcoming them to the CO2balance family!
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.
At short notice I flew out to Malawi last Tuesday and have spent the week here in Lilongwe with our partners Concern Universal. The objective was to identify how we can increase access to carbon finance for organisations in the country. We were kindly invited to a meeting with Irish Aid who are interested in the role carbon finance can play in development; especially if the revenues it generates are channelled back through the value chain. After a series of productive meetings we are closing in on an innovative model that incorporates the best of carbon finance and development. However it is time for me to return to the UK and say tsalani bwino to Malawi until the next time!
The next couple of weeks promise to be action packed for the projects team. I am heading out to Malawi to meet with our partners Concern Universal to discuss ways we can work together to deliver even more great projects. While Richard is flying out to Kenya this weekend to prepare for and undertake the site visits for our two CDM cook-stove projects. He will be followed closely by Eszter who has a fantastic trip lined up to Uganda to check on our borehole projects, before heading off to Kenya for the Shimba Hills verification site visit.
While we all welcome the chance to get out of the office these trips are normally jam packed so that we can make the most of them and more often than not we return in need of a long holiday!
CO2balance is pleased to announce that it has recently submitted 4 micro scale projects to the Gold Standard Foundation for listing. This marks a milestone in our work to date with Concern Universal in Malawi and lays the foundations for scaling up our partnership further.
The projects in question aim to provide safe water to households in rural Malawi through a programme of borehole repairs and drilling followed by a preventative maintenance programme to ensure they continue to provide clean water to communities for the entire 7 year life time of the project.
While Malawi continues to invest and make progress in water sector development, there are still issues of functionality and equity across the country with some districts including Dowa and Kasungu remaining among the least served, estimated at 41% and 61% respectively. Safe water access is even worse across the districts with 24% of the population having access to safe water in TA Dzoole; 26% in TA Kayembe and 32% in TA Chakhaza in Dowa district; 24% in TA Santhe and 40% in TA Kawamba in Kasungu districts.
This is in part due to the high variability and climatic extremes present in this area of continent, but the primary reason is a lack of infrastructure and functionality issues. Water stress has been shown to be a key barrier in achieving economic development, so achieving the growth necessary to invest in infrastructure remains out of reach in a vicious cycle driven by poverty.
Decentralised water purification systems (such as boreholes and domestic filtration devices) offer a less expensive route to clean water security, but the costs involved in even these small scale interventions are prohibitive for most people at a domestic level. Therefore the traditional technique of boiling water remains the only viable method of purifying water for households and around 5% of domestic energy in Africa (primarily in the form of non renewable biomass) is used to treat water in this manner. This project aims to remove the energy barrier of purifying water through boiling by repairing, drilling and maintaining boreholes in undeserved rural communities.
CO2balance is pleased to announce the Registration of its GS1366 Micro Energy Programme of Activities along with the first VPA, GS1388 Isiolo Improved Cookstoves. This PoA has been designed to allow us to implement improved cookstove projects in a number of countries around the world and will hopefully allow small scale producers to scale up their operations using the revenue from carbon finance. These producers can also benefit from the security of joining an established programme as well as significant time and cost savings.
If you are interested in joining World Vision Kenya, Adeso and ACREST in taking advantage of our PoA, please feel free to get in touch via our website.
Through its ongoing partnership with Concern Universal, CO2balance has been leveraging carbon finance to improve safe water access in rural Malawi. The innovative project aims to rehabilitate damaged boreholes so that communities no longer have to treat their water through boiling or drink dirty water from unprotected sources. CO2balance then uses the carbon revenues to implement a maintenance programme, ensuring that the units stay functioning for the life time of the project.
Image: A man cycles home with a bundle of wood on his bike
Congratulations to our MD Mark Simpson who has just recently gone past the 5,000 followers mark on twitter! If you would like to get regular updates on our activities as well as insider opinion on the carbon markets you too can follow him on twitter @CarbonDuke
Our Aberdares clean cook stove project in Kenya started in 2011, and now contains approximately 10,000 stoves. Since the arrival of the carbon zero stoves in Lari district, the beneficiaries have had time to experience the benefits and switched the majority of their cooking over to them.
We recently spoke to Mary Njoki a 65 year old woman from Bathi Village and a single mother of six children who have all married and moved in with their own families. She lives alone with her two grandchildren and manages a small farm to put meals on the table.
Mary says “the carbon zero stove has really helped me in saving time and money because before the introduction of carbon zero stoves in the area I used to spend much of my time visiting Kereita forest everyday collecting firewood which is about 3km from my home, spending like 5 hours in a day. But since I received the carbon zero stove, I only visit kereita forest once per week because the stove is more efficient as compared to 3-stone stoves. On the other hand before introduction of carbon zero stoves I used to spend kshs. 250 to purchase one bundle which could last for only three days but these days one bundle goes for two weeks with the same mode of cooking as before which means that I end up saving over Kshs.750 after two weeks”
She also added that ‘nowadaysI spend much of my time and money these days to concentrate on my farming activities i.e. planting carrots, kales, potatoes, cabbages and pruning peas trees and also spending some of my money to educate my grandchildren’
She went on to say that, “I can testify that carbon zero stoves produce less soot/smoke as compared to 3-stone stoves which my neighbor Mama Grace uses everyday causing more problems on her family’s health”