Drinking water project in Cambodia

Water is an elementary part of our life. Two thirds of the world are covered by water, but only 0.3% of this water is drinkable. Round about 2 billion people on our planet are acutely aware of this problem every single day because they do not have access to clean drinking water. In Cambodia, this affects nearly one quarter of the country’s population.

To make water potable, many families boil it over an open fire fuelled with wood or coal. This does not only cause CO2 emissions, but also poisonous smoke, which can lead to respiratory, heart, or eye diseases. On top of this, approximately 20% of all the forests in Cambodia have been cut down in the past 20 years for the sole purpose of gaining firewood.

This is where the certified drinking water projects comes in, which receives 50% of our compensations in the form of investments through our partner ClimatePartner. The project’s goal is to facilitate access to clean drinking water to the families in Cambodia by means of subsidised ceramic water filter systems that do not cause any damage to the climate or human health.

This water filter produced by the NGO Hydrologic has the beautiful name “Tunsai”, which is “rabbit” in English. According to popular Cambodian belief, a rabbit can help solve problems. And for this solution, all you need is rice husks, clay and water. But how does it work?

When the pots are baked, the rice husks leave small pores inside the clay, thus creating a physical barrier against bacteria and viruses. Afterwards, the finished pots are treated with a silver solution, which also eliminates all sorts of germs.

The advantage: The filters can be put to use directly without additional application of chlorine or electricity. Coliform and other bacteria are killed effectively without having to boil any water. This is of utmost importance as the lack of hygiene as well as the contaminated drinking water lead to diarrhoea, which continues to be the cause of death for many people. As less fires cause less smoke, the respiratory, heart, and eye diseases decrease, too.

All this helps the climate because now, there are no CO2 emissions in the first place! Just one ceramic filter reduces the annual emissions by 528 kg. In addition, the filters improve air quality in the living quarters and prevent further deforestation.

Positive effects on the population

The drinking water project is more than just a carbon offset project. The water filters do not just provide clean drinking water to a family of five over a period of five to seven years, they also have a positive effect on the economic and social well-being in the region. Local production and distribution of the water filters creates employment and brings important know-how to the people who live there. Women, who used to spend up to 6 hours a day collecting firewood, can now use this time to pursue different activities. And finally, Hydrologic not only sells water filters, but also organises trainings to raise awareness regarding topics such as the importance of clean water, hygiene measures, ways of disease transmissions, and many more.

The great number of positive effects on the climate, the economy, and the social community convinced us to make an active contribution in Cambodia and invest in this drinking water project. Another convincing factor was the project’s Gold Standard certification, which is the highest possible standard for projects in the voluntary compensation market that verifiably lead to the reduction of greenhouse gases and at the same time benefit the local environment and help with social issues. You would like to know what your support could be? Learn more about the contribution you make when you buy our climate neutral products.

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