This case study shows the vital importance of partnership working to achieving sustainable development outcomes, with all stakeholders from Toshiba to the beneficiary communities acting as key cogs in the machine to deliver clean, safe water. The scheme can be held up as an example of successful partnership working between the private sector, government and communities, within countries and across national borders. The case study of Joel Okello at the DWO cannot be told without mentioning the role of other stakeholders involved in the project, showing the crucial, interconnected importance of partnership between all the stakeholders.
Joel Okello is the District Water Officer for Otuke, a district in the Lango sub-region of Northern Uganda where boreholes are being rehabilitated and maintained under the Toshiba CarbonZero scheme. He is the main contact person for CO2balance staff and technicians as they work with communities to implement the project in Otuke district. The District Water Office (DWO) must approve all project activities and collaborates in implementation by providing information on where boreholes need repair and providing technical support in rehabilitations and WASH trainings.
Joel recounts that since Otuke district began collaborating with CO2balance, the functionality of safe water sources in the district has increased from 67% to 73%. Joel notes that due to scarce resources, this increase would not have been possible without the project, and the district hopes to continue scaling up its collaboration with CO2balance with the eventual goal of 100% coverage of safe water sources in the district.
Whilst the partnership between CO2balance and the DWO is crucial to combine the information and resources to scale up water access, none of this would be possible without the involvement of the communities using the boreholes repaired through the scheme. In Otuke, the community at every borehole has elected a Water Resource Committee, a group of people who take on the vital role of ensuring that the area around the borehole is kept clean so as to avoid the risk of contamination. They also conduct minor borehole repairs and liaise with CO2balance staff to arrange any major repairs. This committee plays a vital part in engaging the community on the importance of maintaining and caring for the borehole.
The partnership between CO2balance and Toshiba, which offsets its greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing carbon credits generated through the scheme, is also a vital partnership. Toshiba’s purchase of credits drives funding towards the project, allowing it to continue. Meanwhile, Toshiba’s marketing of the project’s impacts raises environmental awareness amongst their staff and customers, increasing the likelihood that they in turn will support similar projects to promote sustainable development.