Over the past week, I had the pleasure of attending two site visits verifying our Gold Standard projects; Meru and West Kisumu. There were many humbling conversations with stove beneficiaries who were delighted with our improved cook stoves and full of gratitude for the work and impact of co2balance projects. Below is a collection of photos from the team and the trip.
Asante sana to all !
Chetan Sharma our auditor from KBS Certification and Moses Maina our chief Guru in Kenya
On a very happy meeting with the local Women’s Group who constructed the Artisanal Stoves in West Kisumu. with Moses, Christine and Chetan.
Moses and myself discussing the quality of Kenyan Tea and the means of production (which was stewing in the pot). Our conversation was exciting based on our persistent disagreement on the merits of Kenyan Tea over English Breakfast Tea 🙂
From left, Christine, Ethan, Nancy, Chetan and Moses overlooking Lake Victoria, just outside of Kisumu City
Michael, co2balance Community Project Officer in Meru, discussing with local children about the local open water source and the water quality.
CO2balance are pleased to announce the registration of a second borehole rehabilitation project in Kaliro District (GS3563) under the global micro Programme of Activities (mPoA). Together with the support from the local NGO Women’s alliance and Children Affairs (WAACHA), CO2balance works closely with a range of stakeholders such as district officials, mechanics and community leaders in order to ensure that our projects benefit the most vulnerable people. During my last visit to Kaliro, we organised a meeting with the District water officer, who explained some of the challenges affecting rural water resource management in Uganda. Among the key problems he mentioned, was the lack of capacity to cope with borehole maintenance and repairs. Although most boreholes are owned by the communities themselves, the costs associated with maintaining them are simply not affordable, which means that the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the local government. As shown in the chart below, over 98% water points are funded by the government.
Over 98% of funding for water points comes from the local government. Source: Directorate of Water Development, Ministry of Water & Environment, 2010
Even though a significant part of the District’s annual budget goes towards the maintenance of water points, it is clearly not enough to cover the demand. This means that many communities are often left with no other choice but to collect there water from unprotected sources such as swamps, rivers and ponds which are highly susceptible to water borne diseases such as typhoid.
A women collecting water from an open well in Kaliro District
A broken down borehole in Kaliro District
Located in the south-west of Uganda, Kaliro District has a total population of 202,200 people of which only 13,282 reside in urban areas. Current sources estimate that approximately 37% of the rural population are still without access to protected water sources. Of the people that do have access to potable water, 99% rely exclusively on boreholes and shallow wells. Considering the lack of financial capacity of the local government, combined with the overwhelming importance of off grid water points-using carbon finance as a means to implement sustainable water point maintenance programmes provides a practical solution to this problem and could potentially contribute significantly to enhancing water access throughout the poorest regions of the globe.
CO2balance meeting with the Kaliro District Water Officer (left) and Director of WAACHA, Noah Isanga.
CO2balance and WAACHA assessing broken down boreholes in Kaliro
Shimba Hills is a rural district in south east coast Kenya one of the major co2balance projects in Kenya.In the last week, the Gold Standard Foundation confirmed that the Shimba Hills has issued carbon credits for its third monitoring period. As a result of this project, 10,985 households are using the efficient cook stoves. This has reduced emissions by >30,000 tCO2e in the latest monitoring period. The project has not only reduced GHG emissions but also reduced time spent collecting wood by local people for cooking and reduce pressure on deforestation local ecosystems.
Moreover, 1,754 people report increases in their health because of using the cook-stoves in the latest monitoring period.The Shimba Hills project has reached 51,538, and supported 3 local stove manufacturers (Camp Kenya,REECON and Mwavoi general contractors) that have acted as implementing partners.
It is good to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved over the last year for helping to facilitate this project and allow it continue to improve the lives of Kenyan communities, the central ethos of all co2balance projects. Long may it continue.
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