Carbon for water deal begins in Kenya

A carbon offsetting deal whereby a firm earns carbon credits in exchange for providing water filters to Kenyan households has begun its rollout.

The project is called Carbon for Water and is spearheaded by Vestergaard Frandsen, a European company that specialises in disease control textiles.

Almost 900,000 water filtration units will be donated to and installed in approximately 90% of households in the Western Province of Kenya.

Vestergaard Frandsen says that it will provide at least ten years’ worth of clean drinking water and will come at no cost to local residents, governmental agencies or donor groups.

The provision of the clean water means that the need to treat water by boiling it using wood fuel will be reduced. As a result the greenhouse gases generated in this process will also be reduced.

Vestergaard Frandsen puts up the funding for the project and is reimbursed with carbon financing.

The company only gets paid the carbon credits for the performance of the water filters in reducing emissions. It estimates that the project will deliver a reduction in more than two million tons of carbon emissions annually.

The project will be monitored by and independent auditor to verify the emissions reductions every six months.

The company will make an initial investment of $25 million to set up the project. This will involve the manufacture and transport of the water filters, training and education.

Plans for the longer term will see the company employing hundreds of Kenyans for at least ten years in repair and replacement centres and to provide on-going education.

Long-term sustainability of the project is a priority for the company.

Vestergaard Frandsen CEO, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, said: “The programme holds the potential for long-term sustainability of a point-of-use solution.

“This is one of the largest water treatment projects ever done without government or public sector funding.

“It will also be one of the first that directly links low carbon development with access to safe drinking water and impacting health outcomes.”

Alison Brown

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