CO2balance safe water projects support rural communities with no access to clean water sources, and who are therefore forced to depend on water from unsafe surface sources such as open wells or ponds. Communities either consume the unsafe water, leading to a high risk of water borne diseases; or purify the water, usually by boiling it over open fires, exposing people to hazardous household air pollution. Rural communities in Africa tend to rely on wood fuel as their only affordable energy source for boiling water for purification, which contributes to high levels of carbon emissions. Furthermore, lack of access to safe water forces people, mainly women and children, to spend significant amounts of time each day doing drudgerous activities such as fetching water and firewood, rather than engaging in education, work or leisure.
CO2balance’s safe water projects work with experienced technicians and teams to rehabilitate broken down water points. Water points, including boreholes and protected springs, enable communities to access groundwater which is safe for consumption. Placing a safe water source in the heart of the community removes the need to burn firewood for water purification, which tackles the problem at the source, reduces CO2 emissions, and alleviates the other associated challenges.
To ensure the sustainability of these vital water supplies, CO2balance supports to the formation of Water Resource Committees at community level, training local people to conduct maintenance of the water points and providing financial assistance for necessary repairs. The committees also receive WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) training, enabling them to pass on information to the community about sustainable water point use and household level sanitation.
Overall, these projects fulfil an important role in delivering universal safe water access and improving livelihoods in the most remote and least developed communities.