After many months hard work, our borehole rehabilitation project in Kole District, Northern Uganda has achieved Gold Standard Registered status. This means that we can fund new sources of water in this project using carbon finance – which contrasts with other carbon finance projects that can only fund water treatment technology.
This is the first time that Gold Standard have registered a project of this kind and because it was without precedent, it required an extraordinary amount of revisions, proofs, studies and technical arguments to satisfy the GS independent Technical Advisory Committee that the project was worthy of Gold Standard status. Every single step was handled in house by co2balance so we were perhaps able to bring to bear a tenacity that other project developers could not – as the time and expense spent doing multiple, additional studies i’m sure would have put most other developers reliant on consultants off a long time ago!
But of course, its not just about our internal journey getting to this point; this project is truly groundbreaking for what it promises can be achieved for thousands of villages and communities across Africa. It is estimated that as many as 60% of the boreholes ever drilled are now unused and the main reason for this is simply because the hand-operated pumping mechanism that draws water to the surface is broken. Africa is blessed with a huge underground aquifer of pure water – that is in some places 75m deep – an appalling irony in a continent that has 300 million people without access to clean drinking water. What we have shown is possible in Kole opens up the prospect that the ethical investment community can now help this abundant, yet hard to reach, natural resource be harvested simply and sustainably for the benefit of local people.
Over the coming months, we will be rolling out a number of other borehole rehabilitation and installation projects with other partners in other countries. If you would like to hear how we get on, stay tuned to this blog!