Clean water is a vital concern as many parts of the world struggle with its availability. Kenya is a prime example of a country on the edge. Kenya’s people have long struggled with lack of availability of fresh water creating hazardous health conditions. According to the World Bank, the country’s population is well over 43 million people. The country is one of the poorest on the earth with one of the most arid climates. Only a small portion of the land is suitable for agriculture. Further, Natural resources available to Kenya do not support adequate or equitable delivery of water forcing people to spend many hours of each day, procuring water for basic sustenance.
For those lucky and strong enough to get water, the rate of exposure to pathogens are a massive problem due to the contamination of basins and pumps where water is collected.
Water issues in Ghana are similar where the population pushes 25 million. Only 13% of Ghana’s dense population has access to adequate sanitation facilities. Eighty percent of all of the diseases in Ghana are caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.
Moving westward the people of Honduras are also in the throws of a water crisis. An existing humanitarian crisis was exacerbated by Hurricane Mitch, in 1998 which devastated the country leaving 75% of it without safe drinking water. Because of the nation’s poverty, rebuilding continues to be slow forcing residents to depend upon contaminated water sources.
In response to the crisis, NativeEnergy of Burlington, VT has teamed up with National Geographic and REVERB, an environmentally driven music organization, to bring clean water to these people. The three part consortium has been responsible for the installation of more than 2,300 water filters in homes, rural watering holes and urban canals.
Added climatic benefits are that the need to burn firewood to boil water for sanitation is eliminated further reducing greenhouse gases.
NativeEnergy is the provider of carbon offsets which help finance projects like this, National Geographic’s participation provides educational, research and adventure trips that foster interest in the plight of countries like Kenya, Ghana and Honduras and REVERB is a musical community that engages musicians and their fans in environmental concerns globally.
Recipients of the water filters report a decrease in waterborne illnesses and the ability to apply money previously used to purchase firewood to education related expenses and entrepreneurial activities.
Article by Robin Blackstone, appearing courtesy Environmental News Network.