Rhiannon Szmigielski, ClimateCare

More than 750 million people around the world still lack access to safe drinking water and this week in Stockholm, NGOs, companies, governments, health experts and researchers are gathering for World Water Week, to discuss how to address this pressing issue.

One example of partners coming together to help tackle this problem, is the Aqua Clara project -" a partnership between climate and development experts ClimateCare and non-profit organisation Aqua Clara International, to establish a water purification project in Kenya.

Almost half the rural population in Kenya lack access to safe drinking water. Instead, households draw water from rivers and streams, risking outbreaks of cholera, typhoid and dysentery. As a result, many people boil their drinking water on open fires, destroying forests and contributing to climate change. Toxic fumes from these open fires are also damaging to health.

The Aqua Clara project has set up manufacturing and distribution for household water filters that replace the need to boil water. This not only reduces exposure to waterborne diseases, it also cuts carbon emissions. Key to success has been involving the community and creating a local economy to replace the trade in firewood -" local entrepreneurs build, sell and service the filters.

The project is supported by The Co-operative and as a result, 18,750 families will have safe water by May 2017. The Co-operative is not only funding safe water provision, it is also able to use the independently verified carbon reductions to offset some of its own carbon footprint.

As part of its commitment to 'Beyond Fairtrade' the project is now being expanded into The Co-operative's 99 brand Fairtrade tea supply chain in Kericho, where it will provide safe water to a further 14,000 people. Again, The Co-operative will be able to offset some of its carbon emissions through this, taking responsibility for its unavoidableenvironmental impact and at the same time building supply chain resilience and adaptability to the impacts of climate change.

Through projects like this, ClimateCare already works with businesses to deliver safe water to more than 4.5 million people.

"Our projects are designed from the outset to deliver measurable positive impact for people and the environment," explains ClimateCare CEO Edward Hanrahan. "The scale of our projects and our experience in delivery means that we are able to offer businesses a really cost effective way to deliver significant benefits for communities, such as the provision of safe water, and at the same time protect the environment by reducing carbon emissions. Effectively, businesses who choose to support safe water provision through ClimateCare can also offset their carbon emissions for free!"

ClimateCare is an organisation focussed on delivering positive environmental and social impacts around the world.
Linked In
Receive the Sustain newsletter
* indicates required