Innovation to secure clean, safe drinking water in a changing climate

Innovation to secure clean, safe drinking water in a changing climate

Whether you live in a remote village in Africa, on a Pacific Island, or here in Aotearoa, being able to access safe, clean drinking water truly means life. Water hydrates us, it nourishes our crops for food and it keeps us clean.

Many communities around the world struggle to access safe, clean drinking water and that is why working with communities on innovative solutions to access this vital resource is a focus for ChildFund. 

While drilling boreholes for access to water, laying water pipes to move it around and installing tanks to store it remain as important projects, ChildFund is working with communities on new solutions that are resilient to climate change.

Kiribati has frequent droughts and inadequate storage facilities to collect sufficient rainwater. Most people don’t have iron roofs and cannot afford water tanks and frequent droughts mean most water tanks would not provide sufficient water all year round.  The main source of water is from high water tables that are contaminated with seawater and waste. 

The ChildFund Kiribati team are working with communities to install solar powered water distillation and solar powered water purification systems around Betio and the outer islands. 

"Having extra water catchment from harvesting unexpected rain - up to 10,000 litres will be so beneficial to us. The public water we receive has gradually decreased from what we normally get and with the increasing number of our community members in households, our members will benefit from the clean water from the solar water distillation," a community elder said during a recent community consultation in Kiribati.

While in Emali in Kenya, where ChildFund works, climate change has led to a further decrease in rain, negatively impacting crop productivity. As a semi-arid area, ongoing drought is a problem. ChildFund is working with farmers to install solar water pumps that are shared by small groups to help water their crops in order to grow food to secure both income and food sources. 

Also in Emali, solar-powered automated water dispensing systems enabled by card holder access, mean community members can access water anytime without an attendant present.  

Today’s humanitarianism has changed and working with local communities to be more climate resilient has become an absolute priority for non-governmental organisations like ChildFund. Climate change-related volatility now means we must move quickly and respond to disasters more frequently, often with limited warning. 

We work with communities with the aim that they become self-sufficient in providing the basics children need to thrive, and so we can move on to work with other communities. With your support, we can help these communities reach the goal of self-sufficiency in providing the basics for children through better access to safe water, sanitation, education, healthcare and child protection, along with more livelihood opportunities for their families. 

You can help ChildFund to do even more projects to help children and communities to access clean, safe drinking water.