Carbon Credits for Change: Lango Safe Water Project’s Impact on Gender Equality in Rural Uganda

20 July, 2023 | Issie Hatfield
Categories: CO2balance, Safe Water, Uganda

With 21 million people in Uganda still without access to clean water (WaterAid), communities are often relying on unsafe wells, lakes and other open water sources that are highly susceptible to contamination. Many existing boreholes across Uganda are owned by community groups and have fallen into disrepair because maintenance programmes have been poorly managed or proven too expensive.

Since 2013, CO2balance has supported such communities in Uganda to have access to safe water through rehabilitation of boreholes. Our aim is to provide long-term support to communities who have limited access to safe water and live in remote rural areas throughout Uganda.

Whilst CO2balance has rehabilitated nearly 1000 boreholes across Uganda to date, our Lango project in the North is one of our largest and most unique projects. 168 boreholes have been rehabilitated between 2016 and 2019 across the districts of Alebtong, Dokolo, Otuke and Kole. The project aims to meet high standards set by the Gold Standard and generate high-quality carbon credits alongside contributing to at least three Sustainable Development Goals. One key difference with this Project compared to other safe water projects, however, is it’s focus on gender equality…

Gold Standard Gender Certification

In recognition of the transformative nature of empowering women as well as the need for gender-specific data to track progress towards meeting SDG 5 targets, the Gold Standard launched its Gender Equality Framework in January 2018. In 2019 CO2balance issued the first ever carbon project with Gold Standard ‘Gender Responsive’ certification. In 2023, the Gold Standard released a new set of Gender Equality Requirements and Guidelines to aid project developers in their mission to address gender within their projects and CO2balance will be reviewing their current activities to ensure they meet the high-standards required to secure this certification.

While all projects certified by Gold Standard for the Global Goals must meet the Gender Sensitive requirements for project design, CO2balance was the first developer to apply the full Gender Responsive requirements. The Project activities go beyond traditional carbon project and focus on the sensitisation on gender issues, women empowerment and monitoring the outcomes of these activities.

Large-scale Gender Sensitisation Training events, led by a gender expert, taking place across 4 Districts within Lango sub-county in 2021

In the most recent monitoring period, ending in 2022, the Project demonstrated a wealth of positive socio-economic impacts and progress in achieving the UN SDGs:

  • SDG 5: Our recent gender reports show that 18 minutes have been saved per day on water collection, a 11% reduction from the baseline scenario. This has enabled 94% of women to spend more time on unpaid domestic tasks and 53% on income-generating tasks.
  • SDG 3 & 6: Compared to the baseline scenario, approximately 42,000 additional people are now consuming safe water in this project area. Sanitation and hygiene sensitisation training for community members enables people to improve their WASH practices and decrease the risk of suffering from water-borne illnesses.
  • SDG 13: By providing clean water, the need to boil water as a treatment method is removed and therefore saving thousands of tonnes of firewood per year and reducing CO2 emissions. During 2021-22, the Lango project achieved emission reductions of over 52,000 tCO2e.

Keep a look out on our website for more information about this project and it’s positive impact on gender equality, including real-life case studies from the people who are feeling the benefit of the long-term carbon funding.