Helen lives in Kenya with her husband and five children, and everyday living is not easy. Helen has to collect water from the river for drinking, cooking and washing. Yet, before they could use this water, Helen tries to make it safe by boiling it, using costly firewood. In spite of the boiling, the water is still not safe, as Helen’s family suffers from upset stomachs and other ill health.
In rural Kenya, waterborne illness is a leading cause of death for young children and untreated water is dangerous to people of all ages. Many Kenyans have to make a daily choice: use polluting woodstoves to purify their water or risk serious ailments. Wood is unsustainably harvested to boil water, and burning wood contributes to climate change and creates significant indoor air pollution.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are many families living like Helen’s. Two million deaths worldwide are attributable to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. Native Energy’s Clean Water Campaign is helping to improve lives by installing water filters in homes and schools across Kenya, Ghana, Honduras, Ethiopia, Asia and other communities. This campaign is changing the lives of thousands through access to clean water. Simple, proven household water filters eliminate the common practice of burning unsustainably harvested firewood to boil dirty water.
The Hydraid® BioSand water filter is a safe and practical alternative. It uses centuries-old slow sand technology to remove waterborne pathogens with simple gravity. Using a fully formed bacteria layer, these Hydraid® filters remove 99.999 percent of parasites, 90 to 99.9 percent of bacteria and 80-99.9 percent of viruses from contaminated drinking water. Training in sanitation and hygiene precedes the distribution of the filters; installation is easy and there are no moving parts to repair or replace. In addition, no electricity or plumbing is required because the filtration units are gravity fed.
The Clean Water Campaign is among more than 50 projects in this organisation’s Help Build program, where corporate sustainability leaders invest critical upfront funding in exchange for environmental, social, brand benefits, including premium quality carbon offsets.
In Honduras, another location of one of NativeEnergy’s water projects, a million people lack clean drinking water. The 52,000 people living in rural communities across the municipality of Trojes, Honduras collect their water from springs, rivers and rainwater collection vessels; many of the families here are small holder coffee farmers. The lack of a reliable source of clean water contributes to widespread waterborne illness. The Honduras Clean Water Project will provide simple lightweight bio-sand water filters to 1200 households in the region.
This innovative Clean Water Campaign provides essential health benefits and life improvements to these impoverished communities, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions at the same-time, which helps us all.
Photo Credit: Native Energy
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