Climate Stewards Calculator

The Climate Stewards Calculator enables you to calculate how much CO₂ you have emitted through your travel and household energy use. This is an opportunity to consider your carbon footprint and how the equivalent may be paid forward as a gift to those most affected by climate change today. Check out ways you can reduce your footprint by living lighter. 

Funds from this calculator support A Rocha Uganda Biosands Filters which is a Climate Stewards Seal of Approval program. CO₂ emissions are reduced by eliminating the need to boil water before drinking.

Your tax deductible gift to A Rocha Canada will be used for the program or project you have designated. If the need for that program or project has been fully met, we will reallocate remaining funds to areas of greatest need.

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Stories of Impact

Uganda
The lake with its contaminated water. Photo: Angela McKay
James, Scovia and some of their children collecting water from their new bio-sand water filter. Photo: Susan Nankya

Would you drink water that cows have contaminated?

Clean drinking water was unknown to James and Scovia Wandira and to very many families in Nakasongola, north of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Contaminated water and poor sanitation are everyday issues. There are many challenges for James and Scovia. Water is often scarce. Small ponds, known as water dams, frequently have cows drinking from them and often dry up. And bore holes can produce salty, hard water and also dry up.

So James, Scovia and their 9 children have then to resort to drinking lake water. This water is dirty, brown and turbid. Cows wade into it to drink, humans bathe and wash their clothes, children swim and animals and humans defecate in it.

Scovia is scared of drinking the lake water – but there is no alternative. It’s hardly surprising that her family has experienced diarrhoea, dysentery and even typhoid. But many Ugandans think lake water is safe as there is a huge volume of water in the lake and a relatively small amount of pollution!

A Rocha Uganda set out to change things. The best thing A Rocha Uganda has done for James, Scovia and their family is to provide them with a bio-sand water filter. James and Scovia were trained in the correct use and maintenance of the water filter. Instead of drinking contaminated water and suffering the consequences, they can now rely on a regular supply of clean, clear, safe water. Polluted water goes into the filter but clean drinking water, several hundred litres of it, is available every day. And this filtered water also enables their food to cook quicker and clothes to wash better. Soap bubbles were something they hadn’t experienced before!

She used to be scared of using lake water but now Scovia is confident that it will become safe to drink when it is properly filtered through her bio-sand water filter. The entire family are now much healthier thanks to their new supply of clean water. And another benefit is that they need far less wood from the forest for fuel to boil water.

Story by Angela McKay, A Rocha International’s Environmental Education Coordinator. November 2017

“My Gift With A Difference” in action

For my birthday I was given a Gift With A Difference. So I was delighted when, in November on a field trip with A Rocha Uganda, I saw my gift in use. The gift, a bio-sand water filter, had been given to Sarah Nakate, a 55 year old lady in Kiti B, in Wakiso District north of Kampala, Uganda.

It was the rainy season and the previous day it had rained in torrents continuously from early morning until the evening. We set off for Kiti B with Susan and Henry from A Rocha Uganda. As we turned off the main highway and onto a side road it was easy to see the impact of the rains. Driving down a hill, we saw a temporary lake in the fields on each side of the road. The road itself was under several inches of water and one side was closed as a large hole had appeared overnight. We continued for some time then turned onto a mud “road” which our driver assured us was passable. Slipping and sliding along for a short distance we reached the turn-off to the house we were visiting. At our second attempt we managed to drive onto this road and thankfully soon came to a stop at our destination, the tyres on the vehicle covered in thick red mud and grass.

We were welcomed by Sarah’s elderly mother and father before Sarah herself came and gave me an enormous hug! Sarah’s husband arrived from his job making mud bricks but after greeting us had to return to his work. The two small children that Sarah cares for each day stared wide-eyed, very unsure of the white-skinned visitor. Sarah invited us into her simple house. The living room floor was rough with no floor covering and the bare brick walls were dark and depressing. Apart from some basic seating, the only other item in the room was her water filter which she proudly spoke about. Each day she filters enough water for her family and for the neighbouring family which includes the children she cares for. A five minute walk along narrow paths took us to the spring well where Sarah and other women from the village collect water each day. The water was muddy and brown from the soil that had been washed into it by the rains. Sarah showed us how she would go down the slippery slope and collect water from the well.

We returned to Sarah’s house where she told us how, if she drank water from this well, she would be sick before the evening. Since getting the water filter she no longer boils the water. She was delighted to tell us that her family and her neighbour’s family have not suffered from typhoid or other water-related health problems since they started drinking the filtered water. This one bio-sand water filter provides clean, drinkable water for 6 adults and 5 children. It has had a positive impact on their health and enabled them to save money that was previously needed to pay for firewood to boil their drinking water.

Story by Angela McKay, A Rocha International’s Environmental Education Coordinator. Photos: David McKay. November 2017

The spring well where Sarah collects her drinking water each day.
Sarah holds her drinking water before filtration and Angela holds the filtered water.