Global Water Challenge: Rainwater Harvesting at L'Esperance Orphanage in Rwanda
Every Monday we profile a Dow Live Earth Run for Water partner organization that works toward providing solutions to the nearly 1 billion people who lack access to clean, safe water. To donate to one of these projects, visit liveearth.org/give.
In the spring of this year, I traveled to L’Esperance Orphanage in Rwanda where I found a wellspring of hope amidst the surrounding village’s poverty and water woes. It's fitting after all – "l'esperance" for all of the non-French speakers means "hope."
The homes in the village surrounding the orphanage had no clean water. This meant that local children had to make a daily trek 11 stories downhill to a pumping station and carry back-breaking jugs of water back up the hill.
However, the kids at the L’Esperance Orphanage no longer have to make the daily trek for clean water. Thanks to Manna Energy, a Global Water Challenge partner we support, the orphanage harvests the rainwater from the roofs in the rainy season and stores it for use throughout the year.
But it gets even better. Manna Energy uses a gravity-fed filtration and UV-disinfection system to replace fuel wood used to boil the water and make it safe to drink. In the process, they generate greenhouse gas credits by curtailing emissions from burning wood to boil water. Manna is getting certified to sell these credits into the European Union market for greenhouse reductions. With the money they make from selling carbon credits, Manna hopes to serve all 500 secondary schools in Rwanda, about 236,000 children, at no cost to the schools.
However, they still need support to help with start-up costs. Please donate to help GWC and Manna’s work in Rwanda:
As the President of Global Water Challenge, the numbers I deal with often seem overwhelming. One in eight worldwide lack access to clean water. Dirty water diseases kill more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined – about one child every 15 seconds.
But as the story of the L’Esperance Orphanage suggests, not only is there hope, but there are solutions. I believe it’s possible that everyone in the world can have access to safe drinking water by 2025, but only if governments, donors, businesses, local communities and the public help to make it happen. Clean water is one of the most effective tools available to break the cycle of poverty.
Global Water Challenge believes that the Dow Live Earth Run for Water will be a transformational event, helping us reach a tipping point in the fight to provide everyone with clean water. Please join the global movement to make clean water a reality for the nearly billion people without it.
Paul Faeth is the President of Global Water Challenge, the primary U.S. nonprofit partner of the Dow Live Earth Run for Water. For more information about Global Water Challenge, please visit: www.globalwaterchallenge.org