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Improved Water Infrastructure, Sub-Saharan Africa

164 million litres of clean water per year brought to 270,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa

Project Type: Health and livelihoods, Clean water

Standards: Gold Standard

  • 2014 07 14 Malawi Borehole Picture 3
  • 2014 07 14 Malawi Borehole Picture
  • Uganda boreholes June 2014 5
  • Uganda boreholes June 2014 2
  • Eritrea Borehole Project 10

This Gold Standard project, based primarily in Uganda, Malawi, Rwanda and Eritrea provides clean drinking water to small rural communities by repairing and drilling new boreholes. Boreholes can be used as water wells by installing a vertical pipe casing and well screen, which allows water to be extracted from the ground, even during dry seasons. By providing clean water, communities no longer need to purify water through boiling. This alleviates pressure on local forests – the predominant source of firewood – and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

At least 2 billion people worldwide do not have access to safely managed drinking water

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals: In addition to delivering emissions reductions to help take urgent action to combat climate change (SDG 13), the project delivers a number of other sustainable development benefits. The following SDG impacts are currently indicative and subject to change upon further analysis:

  • Clean Water and Sanitation: The project provides the infrastructure for clean water supply for communities. In many cases, the boreholes have fallen into disrepair and communities need to travel long distances from their town to collect water or use unsafe water sources. Depending on the number of people in the community, a borehole can provide about one million litres of safe drinking water per year.
  • Good Health and Wellbeing: In Uganda, 10 rehabilitated boreholes serve 5,700 people, preventing 100 cases of diarrhoea and six fatalities each year. In 2016, while 29% of people globally did not use safely managed drinking water services, in Uganda the situation is significantly worse with 93% of people not using safely managed drinking water.

Read More information to find out how the project delivers other sustainable development benefits.

  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: Locally-appropriate technology is used, such as Afridev hand pumps, maintained by local mechanics trained under the programme to provide a long-term solution.
  • Gender Equality: Boreholes greatly reduce the time needed for collection of water and fuel, and the purification of water. This reduces exposure to indoor air pollution, and allows women to focus on other income-generating activities. Without a functioning borehole, women spent and average of 2 hours 50 minutes per day collecting water, which reduced to 47 minutes per day after the borehole in the region was rehabilitated.

In 2016, while 29% of people globally did not use safely managed drinking water services, in Uganda the situation is significantly worse with 93% of people not using safely managed drinking water.

World Bank

Pius' Story

Pius is a pupil at Abari primary school in Uganda. Before the local borehole was repaired, he would fetch water from 2km away, taking about two hours. Now he collects water within 150 meters of his home, leaving more time for other activities.

Previously we would share a local water source with animals and would suffer stomach illnesses as a result. The community is committed to working together to maintain this safe and clean water source

Lucy, Ajwati Dokolo
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