Expansion of the Lango ‘Safe Water Project – Part 2: Rehabilitation of New Boreholes

Co2balance as a project developer started borehole rehabilitation in the Lango sub region located in the northern part of Uganda in 2013 with the repair of 41 boreholes spread out in the districts of Alebtong, Otuke, Kole and Dokolo in a bid to provide clean safe water to these communities.

By the end of 2016, in an expansion drive, the number of boreholes rehabilitated rose to 61 with an additional 40 boreholes added in 2016 alone. This has increased access to clean safe water for many households who before the rehabilitation were using unsafe water sources like ponds, open wells among others.

In addition to the borehole rehabilitation, a Water Sanitation and Health (WASH) sensitization was carried out to educate the community on the importance of keeping their environment clean by fencing the borehole, cleaning it, keeping animals and waste away from it and above all maintaining the safe water chain from borehole to domestic storage. These good hygiene practices coupled with the clean water from these boreholes help eradicate waterborne diseases like typhoid, diarrhea, and dysentery and also reduces the risk of cholera outbreaks.

Water quality testing which is a standard procedure and requirement by the national water authorities was carried out in the rehabilitated boreholes since they have not been in use for a while. This was to ensure that the water from these boreholes meet the required standards, pass the set parameters and are suitable for human consumption. All the boreholes tested passed the tests and are therefore safe for the community.

 

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Toshiba and CO2balance – partners for sustainable development

Since 2009, Toshiba TEC, a global leader in manufacturing printers and other electronic devices, has been partnering with CO2balance to deliver the Carbon Zero Scheme. Through this scheme, the company offsets the CO2 emissions caused by its production and distribution of Multi-Function Printers by supporting rural communities in Kenya to access fuel-efficient cookstoves and repairing boreholes in Uganda to ensure that communities can access safe water. The scheme has been remarkably successful, with over 430,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions prevented by the end of 2015, and we’re delighted to announce that in its current cycle, the scheme is now officially supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs were agreed in 2015 and set out an ambitious and expansive agenda to tackle the great challenges facing our planet and its people, plants and animals. Throughout 2017, case studies of people in Kenya and Uganda that are taking part in the scheme’s projects will be published on the Toshiba website, demonstrating the positive impacts for individuals in some of the poorest communities in the world. These case studies will also show how changes to the livelihoods individuals are a crucial part of the achievement of the SDGs. Several different SDGs are supported by the scheme, including:

SDG 1 (No Poverty): By supporting communities with fuel-efficient stoves or with a pure water supply that is drinkable straight from the source and does not require boiling to make it safe, the need for households to spend hours every day collecting firewood is reduced. This helps free up time for farmers like Vincent Ogwong, who can now focus on developing businesses to increase household income to invest in food and in educating his children.

SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing): Fuel-efficient stoves reduce the smoke inhalation suffered by families throughout sub-Saharan Africa by cooking on open fires in the home, thereby reducing exposure to respiratory problems.

SDG 13 (Climate Action): Introducing fuel-efficient stoves and removing the need to boil water to make it safe greatly reduces the volume of firewood burned by households, thereby reducing the resulting CO2 emissions. It is estimated that 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions will be prevented by the project activities in the current project cycle (April 2016-March 2018). The reduced dependence on firewood will also remove a cause of deforestation in the communities involved, ensuring that trees are preserved to sequester CO2.

We’re really excited to be involved in this scheme and to be making such a tangible contribution to these goals which are set to have such a positive impact in the coming years. You can check out the profile and details of the Toshiba Carbon Zero Scheme on the SDGs website and of course follow the CO2balance blog for regular updates!

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Successful First Issuance of West Kisumu Small-scale Cookstoves Project in Kenya

This week at Co2balance we have had some good news for our improved cookstoves project in West Kisumu: it was issued for the first time since its implementation in 2011!
Over the course of the project, we distributed more than 1500 stoves to rural communities in the region. This was achieved through a collaboration with Umeme, a local women’s group that received training to manufacture the artisanal stoves from our staff in Kenya.

In addition to supporting the creation of a sustainable women-run micro business, the project has had very positive impacts in the communities, with beneficiaries reporting significant woodfuel savings, reduced levels of smoke, and a generally cleaner and safer cooking environment.

This first issuance of credits under the Gold Standard is a key milestone. We are all very happy about this achievement and hope for more positive news from West Kisumu in the near future.

 

We will keep you posted !

Eritrea site visit

This month I was lucky enough to be able to visit the fantastic projects that are being implemented in partnership with Vita, an Irish NGO. Vita are working with communities across the country to build capacity and work towards sustainable livelihoods, building efficient cook stoves and rehabilitating non-functioning boreholes.

Below are a selection of photos from my visit:

 

Witnessing some of the harsh climatic conditions first-hand highlighted the need for the efficient use of resources and these projects make a huge contribution to support rural communities.

I am incredibly grateful to the team in Eritrea for hosting me and showing me the ongoing work in a fascinating country during my time there. Yikenyelna!

 

Alex Opio’s story

45 year old Alex Opio, a father of 10 children is a resident of Tetugo Village in Otuke district and a user of the newly rehabilitated Barabolo borehole that was sighted by co2balance in its expansion of the ‘Lang0 Safe Water Project’ as one of the many broken down boreholes serving a big population with no other clean alternative point water sources.

Alex lost his left limb to a landmine explosion at the peak of the Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda in 2004. Gazzeted in an internally displaced camp, he was deployed at the Local Defence Unit that was tasked to protect families living in the camps. They were required to escort the women and children who went out into the fields to farm and also look for water and firewood.

To solve the water scarcity issue, Barabolo borehole was drilled near their local church but due to lack of proper management, it broke down. The borehole serves over 300 people but had been broken for over a year which pushed them to use an open well that was meant for animals. The nearby health center recorded so many cases of water borne diseases especially among the children.

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Barabolo borehole before repair

Alex’s family that lives half a kilometer from this water source had to trek for over 2kms to an open well which had unsafe water and also had some security concerns due to the presence of the rebels and sparse settlement patterns of the communities.

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Alex and Engineer Tom – repair works going on in the background

Alex says that with the repair of this borehole and its proximity to his house, he is guaranteed of good health through clean water and safety for his family. His two wives and the other women that use the borehole have been able to open up a savings group through which they will borrow and lend money to provide funding for other income generating activities like small trading/businesses. The nearby borehole has made it possible for them to save time hence the ability to carry out other activities like trading and farming to improve on their income and food basket.

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Fully rehabilitated Barabolo borehole

Pumping Strong: Recurring Issuance of 5 Gold Standard Borehole projects in Northern Uganda

As a project developer, CO2balance pioneered the development of Borehole rehabilitation projects under the Gold Standard. We have been working in Northern Uganda  since 2013, repairing 41 boreholes and providing access to safe drinking water to more than 25,000 people. These project have now been issued for the 2nd and 3rd time. This is a great achievement for our field staff and our partners in Uganda as well as everyone else involved in developing and maintaining these projects.

Co2balance conducts regular assessments and works closely with local communities in order to ensure that sanitation and hygiene conditions are suitable to ensure safe water supply. Regular repairs and maintenance works are conducted by our partners to deliver continuity and reliability of water provision. Three years after the projects inception, we are proud to say: our boreholes are continuing to pump strongly.

 

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Borehole Maintenance in Dokolo

 

The investment co2balance provided in the development of water infrastructure in the Alebtong, Dokolo, Otuke and Kole has been particularly important because these districts suffered heavily under the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from 1997 to 2007. The civil war left many basic services non-functioning and in need of long-term investment.

We are looking forward to continuing the successful work that is being done. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about our borehole projects.

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Tightening a pump handle

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Greasing a pump chain

 

 

Introducing myself

Let me introduce myself, I’m Tom and I have just joined the co2balance team as Carbon Projects Officer. I am passionate about international development and environmental issues and I’m delighted to have joined a company doing such outstanding work to combat climate change and improve livelihoods in rural communities throughout Africa and beyond.

I have an MSc in International Development from Bristol University and have spent the last 2 years working in sub-Saharan Africa, firstly with Temwa in Malawi and then with Planting Promise in Sierra Leone. I worked on delivering a range of community-based projects in areas including agriculture-forestry, education and small business development. These experiences helped me to understand the challenges faced by rural communities throughout Africa, but also the potential of small projects to support adaptations that benefit livelihoods.

It’s really exciting to be working for co2balance and to be working on projects having a positive impact for communities whilst delivering measurable emission reductions. The fact that so much is achieved by a small team shows the dedication and expertise of co2balance’s staff. I’m looking forward to learning from the team and contributing to advancing the company’s work in the coming months and years.

Outside of work, I’m a massive football fan and enjoy cooking, cycling and travel. I hope to be writing on the blog again soon with updates about co2balance’s projects, watch this space! Below is a picture of me on the Chombe plateau above Lake Malawi back in 2014.

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