Carbon offsetting in Rwanda: Safe Water Access project

Published by Georgia Crump on


Rwanda is a landlocked country in East Africa that shares borders with Burundi and Uganda, and the Gatsibo District is located in the East of the country.

This project tackles several health and environmental problems in the region, including waterborne diseases from drinking impure water, and carbon emissions from burning wood to purify water. 

CO2balance works with local groups and NGOs in Rwanda to deliver clean, safe water for communities by identifying and rehabilitating broken-down boreholes. A borehole is a narrow shaft drilled into the ground for the purpose of extracting water.

A well-made borehole should last a lifetime, making this project a sustainable investment in the future health of communities in Rwanda. 

About the project

Using borehole technology, this project provides safe water to hundreds of households within the Gatsibo District. As a result, households here consume less firewood during the process of water purification, meaning there is a reduction in CO2 emissions (released when wood burns). 

The project includes an ongoing maintenance programme, with water sanitation and hygiene training, which ensures a safe and reliable community water supply for communities.

Each of the 12 micro-projects under this programme prevent 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions from entering the atmosphere. 

This project is certified to the highest level by Gold Standard. Read more about Gold Standard’s certification process. 

Cost (USD / tonne of CO2e): $12 (read more about how this is calculated)

The impacts and benefits of this project: 

For local communities: 

  • A supply of clean safe water for communities
  • Reduced risk of waterborne diseases, lifting the burden of disease on people’s livelihoods
  • Water sanitation and hygiene training opportunities for local communities
  • Less time spent collecting water from traditional sources such as open wells and rivers which are often far away and seasonal. As a consequence, people have more time to spend earning income, women on training and development, and children in education
  • Less time and effort spent on collecting firewood to boil and sanitise water 
  • Reduced expenditure on wood fuel

For the environment:

  • Reduced CO2 emissions by 120,000 tonnes
  • Less pressure on local wildlife and ecosystems by putting a stop to deforestation for the purpose of providing firewood

Sustainable Development Goals

One of the requirements of Gold Standard certification is that the projects meet at least 3 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, of which one is climate action. This means that as well as fighting climate change by offsetting carbon emissions, the projects your money is supporting contribute to sustainable development for eco-systems and communities around the world. 

The goals met by this project are: 

1. No poverty – Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality

6. Clean water and sanitation – Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in

7. Affordable and clean energy – Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity

13. Climate action

Read more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Your impact

You can see a record of our donation to this project on our public ledger. You can also view global contributions to this project on Gold Standard’s impact registry

Thanks to the contributions of our members, we are reducing carbon emissions for a more sustainable future.

1 Comment

The month in Treepoints: November - The Treepoints Blog · December 1, 2020 at 6:03 pm

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