Clean Drinking Water for Schools and Households

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    Award winning project! This project has been selected for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Momentum for Change Award!! It is one of 16 inspiring Lighthouse Activities selected!

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    Barack Obama loves the benefits of the Solvatten water filter unit. From left to right: Fredrik Reinfeldt, former prime minister of Sweden, Barack Obama and Petra and David Wadström, founder.

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    Lack of access to safe drinking water and inadequate sanitation and hygiene are responsible for the majority of the 1.8 million annual deaths caused by diarrheal disease.

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    Women and children around the world spend 200 million hours collecting water a day, mostly from contaminated sources.

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    An example of a water treatment device is a solar UV purification unit, called Solvatten. One Solvatten unit placed in the sun for 2-6 hours can produce 11-44 litres drinking water per day.

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    Mastula, mother of four children, runs a local food place: «For every meal I serve, I also serve a cup of safe water from the Solvatten for free. This has increased my business and within a few months I have gone from 50 meals to 70-100 meals per day.»

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    So-called table top tulip with ceramic filter for water purification.

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    The table top filter not only purifies water but at the same time, through its unique storage container with dispenser, enables safe water storage contributing to improved sanitation and hygiene.

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    Nicosia Asiimire stands next to her classroom water filter at Victory Primary School in Kampala, Uganda. Worm infections and diarrhea are major causes of student absenteeism around the world; ensuring that children have safe access is important to keeping them in the classroom where they can continue to learn.

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    For schools and other institutions this programme supplies other technologies...

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    In huge tanks like this one in a Muslim boarding school in Kampala up to 300 liter of water can be purified per hour.

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    Sandra, literature teacher at Mbogo College, surrounded by her students in front of a UV Sytem with 750 l tank: "Before the UV system, students brought water from home or bought it from canteens. The school also boiled some water. The students understand that the water from the UV tank is safe water. They don’t wash their hands with it during their (Muslim) prayers."

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    The programme started in different regions in Uganda. Suburban districts like Kawempe (close to Kampala) and rural communities as the one in Masindi deliver precious insights for the countrywide rollout.

The primary objective of the programme is to disseminate water purification systems to low-income households and institutions such as schools, starting in Uganda. Carbon finance is used to give households access to the clean water technologies thereby improving the livelihoods and health conditions of thousands of people and at the same time reducing CO2 emissions by reducing the consumption of non-renewable firewood and charcoal.

238,400 people benefit from safe water
people benefit from safe water
466,000 litres of safe water being treated per school
litres of safe water being treated per school
130 tonnes of firewood saved per school per year
tonnes of firewood saved per school per year

Lack of access to safe drinking water and inadequate sanitation and hygiene are responsible for the majority of the 1.8 million annual deaths caused by diarrhoeal disease. Children under five are particularly affected. According to the WHO report, 884 million people do not use improved sources of drinking water. Over one third of those live in sub-Saharan Africa.

In Uganda, 40 per cent of people boil water for purification and many more do not treat water at all. In addition, wood harvest for domestic cooking and boiling water is one of the major causes of deforestation. The burning of wood not only damages the environment, but can also negatively impact human health. In addition, many women and children spend much of their time gathering fuel instead of putting that time toward more productive purposes.

Now that we have the UV system, we no longer have to boil water, which saves money and saves the environment.
Mpagi, Teacher and Director of Maintenance, Kawempe Muslim Secondary School 

The programme addresses the above issues while enabling access to water purification technologies at household as well as institutional level. Examples of water treatment devices currently used include solar and electric ultraviolet (UV) purification units, ceramic filters and ultra filtration systems. Institutional water treatment systems can treat depending on type between 120 to 650 litres per hour that can provide safe water for 1,000 students and more. Smaller filters used in households treat 2-6 litres per hour. For women and children this means time saved that they otherwise spent in collecting or buying firewood. 

Since I have a Solvatten water filter unit, the number of my clients has increased, as I can give them free drinking water. Compared to its benefits the unit was not that expensive.
Mastula Nakanja, restaurant owner Kampala

The programme is promoting the scaled dissemination of clean water technologies around the world. After Uganda, myclimate’s implementing partner has already identified other countries such as Indonesia, Haiti, Rwanda, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Kenya as potential target areas for programme activities. It will work with local and international organizations to identify the most appropriate products for varying national contexts. myclimate invests the revenues from carbon compensation in the project in the form of activities that facilitate project scale-up, such as direct technology subsidies, developing marketing and outreach resources, capacity building and enhancing distribution channels.


Water filter units for private households:

  • Over 28,000 persons benefit from safe water.
  • Over 3,829 units for households have been sold so far at a reduced price.
  • Over 3,000 litre safe water is being treated in average per unit per household per year.
  • 1 tonne of firewood is being saved per household per year.
  • 92% of people state a reduction of smoke emissions.
  • 82% of people report the decrease of Diarrhea and water borne diseases.
  • 76% of people state a decrease of missed school days due to illness.

Institutional water filter units, mostly schools:

  • 354 units have been installed so far.
  • More than 210,280 pupils are being reached by these installed water filters over all.
  • 466,000 litres of safe water are being treated in average per school in a year.
  • In average, over 130 tonnes of firewood are being saved per school per year.
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