The government of Ethiopia is in discussions to use the carbon trading for the distribution of safe water and related schemes at public schools through a partnership with Impact Water, a US based social enterprise.The delegation discussing carbon trading visited Ethiopia for the second time this week to meet government officials working in areas like the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health.
Besides discussions a consultative workshop included presentations from representatives of Impact Water and government bodies, the private sector and local and international nonprofit organizations working on water issues.
The workshop was held at Golden Tulip and included people working on water purification, construction and related projects, international and local supporters and government officials.
The US based social enterprise has been working in African countries including Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda.
Tim Neville, COO of Impact Water, told Capital that Impact Water is working to create access to safe drinking water solutions in schools. “We have successfully installed water purification systems in over 12,000 schools in Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria reaching 5 million students,” he said.
“We are in a conversation now with the government of Ethiopia and stakeholders that are involved in water, sanitation and hygiene to see how our model might be of value to Ethiopia and how to create affordable, sustainable and cost effective safe drinking water solutions for schools. We would love to move beyond schools, health facilities, community water, and household water over time but today we are focused on schools,” Tim added.
“The discussion with the government was very successful since we have gotten all government stakeholders from the environment, finance and water sectors. The dialogue focused on how Impact Water and its partners have worked and how those partnerships and resources could be made relevant for the government of Ethiopia,” he explained.
We are making a proposal. It is in the initial project design. We will explore how much funding we need and collect clear data regarding schools.
“It is in the initial stage but all partners have enthusiasm. I think we have sufficient interest and there is enough alignment with resources,” the COO explained.
He hopes that the pilot will be finished in the next three months. Social impact financers are providing zero or minimal interest rate loans for such kind of projects, while company will be refunded by institutions or governments for their role in reducing carbon emission regarding the process of purifying of water on the carbon trading scheme.
Menassie Kifle, CEO of Citrus International Trading Plc, which is local providing Aquatabs to purify 180,000 liters of water used by Impact Water, said that his company motivated the social enterprise to come and work with the government in Ethiopia.
He said that there is different water system in Ethiopian schools and that the social business will work with the government.
Several studies indicate that investing one dollar in water and related project is saving four dollars for the society since the rate of water born diseases, which is one of the major health problems in Ethiopia and affects the economy.
Water, sanitation and hygiene are a national development priority for Ethiopia and part of its development goals. There are over 26 million students in 39,000 schools in Ethiopia.