This year's World Water Day is an important wake-up call for us Western countries to question our habits. Companies, in particular, must fulfil their obligation to the environment, and this must emphasise social responsibility. Niclas Schmiedmaier, CEO
2 billion people worldwide do not have access to a safely managed drinking water service. Out of those, 1.2 billion people do not have access to even basics access to any source of drinking water.
8 out of 10 of those described 2 billion people live in rural parts of the world, about half of them in least developed countries (LDCs).
At the current rate of progress, the world will still leave 1.6 billion people without access to safe drinking water by 2030 all the while the human right to safe drinking water was first recognized by the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council as part of binding international law 10 years ago in 2010. (Source: UN)
When HELIOZ published its “Water4Africa partnership program” with the invitation to submit proposals for potential project areas for safe water projects, we knew the stats and data and therefore expected some responses. However, the number of responses we got not just surpassed our expectations, it also shines a spotlight on the severity of the situation.
Our call for expressions of interest, specifically only inviting applications from the African continent, received 201 applications from a total of 29 countries and 199 organizations.
Mostly from areas of west and east Sub-Saharan Africa, most applying organizations are truly local groups, trying to improve the situation of the communities surrounding them.
We first want to thank all of them for applying. We were stunned by the quality and effort each of those organizations has put into their answers to HELIOZ.
This incredible response also made us contemplate the current situation however. If HELIOZ had the capacity but most of all financial power to work with all those organizations, the quick math shows astounding numbers: Assuming all of those proposals cover 20,000 households this could mean access to safe drinking water for around 20 million rural families of Sub-Saharan Africa.
We want to emphasise that point for a specific reason of course: While welcoming all the scrutiny about the Voluntary Carbon Market of the moment, we want to reiterate and underline the potential it has, namely, to accelerate global development. Without the power of carbon finance, HELIOZ would not be able, to work with even one of those organizations to improve the life of even one of those families.
Let’s use this tool right, for people and the planet and maybe bring the 2030 number of 1.6 billion people without access to safe drinking water down a bit faster.
We will not be able to work with all the organizations who got in touch with us but we will try our very best to maximize our reach and we want to invite you to join!