A United Nations Clean Development Mechanism project, 600,000 advanced water filters and 600,000 high efficiency cookstoves will be distributed to the poorest 30% of households, about 3 million people.
Providing high quality stoves and water filters under the authority of the Government of Rwanda and through established community mechanisms including community meetings and community leadership.
Health education and training will be provided at a local level so as to ensure consistent and correct use of the filters and stove.
The project falls under the UN's Clean Development Mechanism, with carbon credits being earned only after rigorous external monitoring of continued use of the new water filters and cookstoves and the resultant benefits.
In July 2012, DelAgua piloted the deployment of the Rwanda programme through one Umudugudu (a village-level group of homes) in the Western Province of Rwanda. 100 Vestergaard-Frandsen LifeStraw Family 2.0 water filters and EcoZoom Dura cookstoves were distributed at an Umuganda – a community meeting and work-day.
Distributions were logged with barcodes linked to household identification numbers, and complete records were uploaded real-time over smartphones to the cloud.
The distributions were followed by household level education and follow up visits by Ministry of Health community health workers to track the performance of the programme, and to map each installation with GPS coordinates collected on the smartphone-based survey.
The LifeStaw Family 2.0 is a high volume point-of-use water filter. It converts microbiologically contaminated water into clean, safe drinking water, filtering up to 30,000 litres. This is enough to supply a family of five with clean drinking water for three to five years. It works by using advanced hollow fibre technology. Water is forced through narrow fibres under high pressure, clean water then exits through tiny pores in the walls of the hollow fibres and deposits into the safe storage container. The filter removes virtually all bacteria, protozoan parasites and viruses. Turbidity is also reduced by filtering particulate matter larger than 0.02 microns.
The Zoom Dura Cookstove provides a cleaner cooking stove solution by reducing fuel usage by up to 60% and smoke emissions by up to 70%. This means less toxic smoke is inhaled by cooks and their families, and fewer resources are needed for fuelling stoves. The cookstove burns wood and other dry solid biomass. It features an abrasion resistant insulated combustion chamber that forces gases to mix with flames, decreasing harmful emissions through supreme burn efficiency.
About half of the world's population uses unsustainable, biomass-based energy sources for indoor fuel. The daily use of biomass as a fuel contributes to extensive forest degradation and deforestation and harmful indoor air emissions that are prevalent in low-income countries, and imposes an unnecessary burden on the public health and economic development of the vulnerable populations of these countries. Rwanda now faces a growing wood fuel deficit. DelAgua is addressing these problems through one of the biggest programmes of its kind anywhere in the world.
The first phase of the programme, covering 15 Umudugudu was completed in October 2012. 147 community health workers were trained and devices were distributed at Umuganda meetings – a community based meeting and work day.
Health education is the cornerstone of making our project a success. By enabling behaviour change to encourage the use of improved water treatment and cooking methods through community health workers, we increase the chances of having a health impact.
Equipment distributions are followed by household level education and ongoing visits by community health workers to track the performance of the programme, and to map each installation with GPS coordinates collected on the smartphone-based survey.
The name of our health campaign is Tubeho Neza, which roughly translates as “Live well” or “Be well”.
The second phase of the programme sees the beginning of large scale distribution. This work began on 15th September 2014.
We will be providing updates from Rwanda throughout the programme on our Blog.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, with Emory University, the Oregon Health and Science University and the University of Rwanda, are conducting a large scale randomised controlled trial across the western province of Rwanda in 2015 to evaluate the effectiveness of the DelAgua intervention.
This evaluation focuses on “outcomes” (e.g., fewer cases of disease) and “impact” (lower healthcare costs, increased school attendance and productivity) rather than “inputs” (e.g. number of units delivered or people covered). At the same time, since reducing exposure is a necessary condition to the effectiveness of environmental health interventions, the research team is monitoring the impact of the intervention on critical intermediate outcomes such as microbiological water quality and indoor air quality.
The study employs a randomised controlled design to evaluate the impact of the intervention on environmental exposure indicators for water quality and indoor air quality in a sample of the target population and a control group.
Within the randomised controlled trial, a sample of the households will receive water filters and cookstoves equipped with cellular network based remotely reporting sensors that record the performance and usage.
Reporting remotely can provide solutions to many of the issues around sustainability of water treatment, energy and poor infrastructure in developing communities such as unreliable survey data and relying on spot checks to assess performance.
Once the technology interventions are instrumented with the Portland State University sensor package, surveys of families and communities who have monitoring devices will be conducted to determine differences between survey data and the monitoring system. Specifically, usage and performance data will be recorded to gain insight into the operational effectiveness.
In parallel, a blinded reactivity study is being conducted within the randomised controlled trial, to evaluate if knowledge of the sensors impacts the households behaviour.
The third phase of the programme will see 1 million people receive cookstoves. This phase of work will also include development of a long term retail campaign to make cookstoves and filters available for purchase, initially from a central location in Kigali.
DelAgua utilises mobile data collection and a central database for programme implementation, analysis and record keeping. All distributions, education and evaluation activities are conducted through smart-phone based database tools.
During distribution, the community health workers log the names, phone numbers and national identification numbers of the recipients and scan barcodes of the distributed technologies.
During household visits, the team re-scan barcodes and take household identification information, as well as GPS coordinates. All survey questions are conducted through the phone, allowing for consistency between surveyors as well as automated quantitative evaluation of programme performance.
Through the implementation of mobile data collection DelAgua is able to effectively administer and manage large-scale development programmes with expedited technology rollouts, detailed household level education campaigns and comprehensive technology product tracking.
Phase four of the programme will see 1.25 million people benefit from receiving cookstoves and water filters. During this phase further development to the retail campaign will take place to incorporate regionalised retail operations.
DelAgua's carbon credits comply with the rigorous UN Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) requirements of the Clean Development Mechanism. Every credit is independently verified by an accredited auditor, and they meet the strict new requirements of the EU for recognition in the European Union Emissions Trading System post-2013.
DelAgua's carbon credits represent more than emission reductions - they are also a proxy measure for a range of health, gender, employment, education, environment and other development benefits. This distinguishes DelAgua's carbon credits as unique and high value.
If you are interested in working with us as a project partner, carbon credit buyer or supplier please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will direct your query to the right department.