Originally published on Sustainnovate.
We focus a lot on innovative businesses and organizations that are bringing clean technologies to the developing world, but there’s a place for charity too. Especially during this holiday season, we think about how we can give more to those in need. But it’s not just about thinking. It’s also about acting.
British company DelAgua has reportedly been doing a lot of acting — it has been bringing fuel-efficient cookstoves and water filters to people in the poorest part of Rwanda since October, and it says that it has now donated these basic life-saving solutions to nearly 500,000 people there.
“Water borne diseases and indoor smoke pollution claim millions of lives in the developing world each year and it is young children who pay the heaviest price,” the company noted in an email sent to me today. “Globally, pneumonia (caused by soot from burning wood) and diarrhoea (caused by drinking untreated water) account for almost one in three deaths of children under five. Up to three million people are due to be reached by the end of next year, meaning the poorest 30 per cent of the rural Rwandan population will benefit. The ambition is to lay the foundations for a long term presence in Rwanda, making substantial contributions to public health improvement and economic development.”
Even though I am not a resident of Rwanda receiving these cleantech lifesavers, I can honestly say I’m extremely thankful for this. It warms my heart more than any present I’ve received. Here are some more details from the email:
“More than 850 Community Health Workers have been recruited and trained to manage the distribution and help households with installation and maintenance. By the end of next year that number is due to have grown to 4,000.
“Funding of the programme has been provided by the private sector. By demonstrating that the water filters and cookstoves have been distributed and are being used consistently and correctly, DelAgua is able to claim carbon credits which can then be sold to fund the programme as it develops.”
Image by Jonathan Banks
Reprinted with permission.