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Clean Drinking Water & Improved Cookstoves

The World Health Organization estimates that 884 million people around the globe do not have access to safe sources of drinking water. Half of the world’s population uses firewood to boil water to make it safe for drinking in addition to burning it as fuel for indoor cooking.  

Collection of fuelwood to meet daily energy needs contributes to extensive deforestation. In addition, the use of fuelwood for indoor cooking and water purification results in harmful indoor air emissions, leading to adverse impacts on both public health and economic development.

DelAgua Health – How it Works

DelAgua Health is committed to tackling these problems in target countries by providing individual households with a ready supply of clean drinking water and an improved efficient means of cooking.

In Rwanda, DelAgua Health is distributing point-of-use water filters and high efficiency cookstoves throughout the country, targeting the poorest 30% of the population who are living on less than $2 per day. During phase one of the programme, kicked-off in late 2012, the technologies were distributed to approximately 2,500 households, reaching approximately 12,000 people. In phase two, kicked-off in September 2014, the technologies are being distributed to 100,000 households, approximately 500,000 people in the Western Province.  

The water filter technology addresses water borne disease from microbiological contamination, and the high efficiency cookstove addresses indoor air pollution.

DelAgua will generate verified carbon credits following an ACR-approved methodology to quantify the emissions reductions from the decreased fuelwood use from more efficient cookstoves and water filters.

The Benefits

In addition to reduced deforestation, the DelAgua programme is improving health of primarily women and girls through the elimination of water borne diseases and reduced smoke inhalation.

The programme will reduce infant mortality and provide significant economic benefits, including increased fuel cost savings, time savings from reduced fuelwood collection, the availability of a healthier workforce and new education and employment opportunities arising from the training and implementation initiatives and, in due course, maintenance and manufacturing.

DelAgua Health is working with the Ministry of Health and other partners to conduct rigorous external monitoring of technology adoption, behavior change, and public health impacts of the program. For example, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will carefully monitor the impact of the intervention on critical intermediate outcomes such as microbiological water quality and indoor air quality as well as monitoring and evaluating longer-term program outcomes such as fewer cases of disease and mortality as well as program impacts such as lower healthcare costs, increased school attendance and productivity.

Carbon Markets

Carbon markets offer a the potential to fund more widespread deployment of clean cookstove and water purification programs by providing a path to monetize the resulting health and environmental benefits.

DelAgua Health’s carbon offset project is underway with plans to generate marketable credits in 2016.  

For more information, contact Matt Spannagle, DelAgua Health Rwanda Climate Partnership Manager at