Clean water and improved living conditions
various regions of RWanda*
Lack of clean water and poor sanitation and hygiene are among the biggest causes of poverty in Africa.
Without access to safe drinking water, the opportunity to exit the poverty cycle is incredibly low. The Rwanda Borehole Project supplies clean water to local communities, preventing a total of 125,196 tonnes of CO2-emissions annually.
The water quality in Rwanda is usually very bad. The local people traditionally use wood to boil their drinking and washing water on inefficient cookers to avoid diseases due to polluted drinking water.
However, the decoction of the water contributes to the additional greenhouse gas emissions caused by the burning of the wood. Smoke that occurs during wood burning affects the health of people in the huts where the water is boiled.
Unnecessary CO2-emissions and people's health problems can be avoided if a technology that does not use fuel (such as wood, metal, or fossil) that supplies clean water instead is used.
Rehabilitation of wells provides Rwandan communities with clean drinking water, eliminating the need to burn wood to boil and purify the water. The holes are up to 100 meters deep and are operated with a simple hand pump.
By providing this alternative, this project contributes to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a reduction in deforestation in the surrounding regions for the production of firewood. In addition, people in Rwanda's regions spend less time collecting firewood or cooking water, leaving more time for other activities to generate income, household chores and childcare.
Droughts and heavy rain with significant consequences for agriculture.
Climate change is an increasingly challenging task for the small African country of Rwanda, located between Uganda and the Congo.
Changes can already be noted in the precipitation patterns. In particular, long-lasting droughts, which have been replaced by extreme heavy rain, have had a negative impact on the population and regional agriculture.
And a lot is happening in terms of climate protection in Rwanda. Since 2008, plastic bags are completely prohibited. At the borders of Rwanda, plastic bag imports are being controlled as strongly and consistently as drug smuggling elsewhere. Not even wrapped in plastic wrap toast is allowed. Regular raids and high sentences ensure that the prohibitions are respected. Children's next-generation environmental education is also paying close attention to how the consumption of plastic bags can affect the climate and the environment.
The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (iPCC) predicts a mean temperature rise of one to three degrees Celsius by 2050 and three to five degrees Celsius by 2100. The IPCC forecast also predicts an increase in annual precipitation for North and West Rwanda ahead. The topography of Rwanda with its steep slopes and the changes in land and land use due to the high population density in connection with climate change are likely to lead to increased flood events in the future.
Rwanda's population is growing rapidly and the country's natural resources are also limited due to the small area. This increases the environmental problems. Excessive use and erosion are destroying more and more soils and shrinking the usable agricultural area. The effects of climate change, such as droughts and heavy rain, are exacerbating this problem, especially in rural areas. The consequences of climate change also affect lakes, rivers and other important sources of water. This may have consequences for the availability of hydropower water and water supply in Kigali, where it is already difficult to meet users' needs.
The Rwandan government therefore supports terracing and resource conservation programs. In addition, the government is working hard to curb the uncontrolled deforestation of forests and to protect the remaining forests.