Carbon For Water begins with the hardships of the people of Kenya’s Western Province, where safe drinking water is scarce and the wood fuel used to boil water for purification is expensive. These two factors conspire to make waterborne illness a daily—and life-threatening—reality among the already poor population. Women and girls are especially vulnerable; they often miss school or work when fetching wood, and some even fall victim to sexual violence in the process.
Filmmakers Evan Abramson and Carmen Elsa Lopez introduce audiences to a unique solution to this age-old, and worsening, problem. An innovative company has financed the distribution and maintenance of 900,000 water filters in Western Province, funded entirely by carbon credits. These credits are awarded for actual reductions in use of wood fuel as well as the anticipated reduction in future fuel use. The filters help to slow deforestation, as household demand for wood drops. In this way—and in just five weeks—4.5 million people were given the means to purify their water, which in turn unlocks the potential to improve families’ income, education, and health.