CO2balance is an ethical carbon project developer. UP has been working with them since 2013 to realise carbon finance. Carbon finance is an innovative business-based way to generate funds for clean water supplies. We have shown it can provide sufficient revenue to maintain rural water points in working order for at least five years. This is under a Gold Standard certified scheme. As the carbon finance depends upon the continued operation of the water points, it acts as an incentive to communities to 1) deal with minor problems, and 2) report major breakdowns promptly. While the prospect of steady business has stimulated the stocking of fast-wearing parts by local stores, and can support maintenance technician small enterprises.
After successfully pioneering this approach in Malawi, this is our first such project together in The Gambia. If it is effective, we aim to extend its coverage to repair and sustain more water points – ultimately across the whole country.
‘We were excited to begin this project in the Gambia with UP to implement our work in a new country to provide safe water to as many people as we can. After visiting the country in September 2019 for the Local Stakeholder Consultation and visiting some communities, we saw first-hand the extreme need for safe drinking water. All of our projects are certified by the Gold Standard, who not only verify reductions in carbon emissions, but also contributions to at least three of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The benefits of our projects will thus be life changing for the communities in the project area.
We are thankful to the UP Gambian team for their support and initiative to quickly develop measures and strategies that allowed the project activities to continue during the pandemics breakout whilst the country was in lockdown. This was not only to keep the project on track, but because the activities help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to those most vulnerable. It is a time of our lives where the importance of safe water and good hygiene and sanitation is saving more lives in the face of the pandemic – it soon became essential to ensure the project progressed and the remote communities were reached safely so they too could have their boreholes rehabilitated and gain the benefits that the trainings deliver. We are pleased that together we have rehabilitated all 80 boreholes on target despite the lockdown restrictions’.