site logo

Ethiopia Clean Water ProjectHB

NativeEnergy traveled to Ethiopia in 2012 and 2014 to evaluate the region’s specific water needs and introduce the Hydraid® BioSand water filter. Hydraid® is a registered trademark of NativeEnergy, Inc.

Carbon Project Type: Greenhouse Gas-Reducing Water Purification
Location: Sidama Zone, Ethiopia
Volume: 70,000 metric tonnes
Standard: The Gold Standard

Project Details

The Sidama Zone is in south-central Ethiopia, where 250,000 people in the region drink from unprotected water sources and 4 out of 5 people live without proper sanitation. Ethiopia’s Sidama Zone is famous for its distinctive, fruity coffee. But behind this aromatic export lies a community of farmers and families that face huge daily challenges—including lack of access to safe water and widespread deforestation of their land.

Around 65 percent of Sidama residents must use unclean water sources. Waterborne illness is a leading cause of death for young children, and untreated water is dangerous to people of all ages. Some boil water to purify it, but this requires the use of expensive and unsustainably harvested wood. It also creates significant indoor air pollution and contributes to climate change by unlocking the carbon stored in the wood.


The families make a daily choice: use polluting woodstoves to purify their water or risk serious disease.

The Hydraid® BioSand water filter offers a safe and practical alternative. It uses centuries-old slow sand technology to remove waterborne pathogens with simple gravity. Through the purchase of Help Build™ carbon offsets, upfront funding was provided for the installation of these water filters—reducing greenhouse gas pollution and bringing clean air and water to Ethiopian families.

With funding from NativeEnergy’s Help Build™ carbon offsets, approximately 1,500 Hydraid® filters have been provided to households that boil water for purification. This will reduce the need for unsustainably harvested wood and avoid the pollution from burning it.

With a fully formed layer of beneficial bacteria and proper use, Hydraid® filters remove 99% of parasites, 90%-99% of bacteria and 80%-99% of viruses from contaminated drinking water. Training in sanitation and hygiene will precede the distribution of the filters. Installation is easy, and there are no moving parts to repair or replace. In addition, no electricity or plumbing is required because the filtration units are gravity fed.


Sustainable Development Benefits

In addition to improving health and reducing greenhouse gas pollution, the Ethiopia Water Filtration Project will:

  • Increase local economic activity by hiring local staff to oversee program operations and water quality testing.
  • Empower local communities to maintain clean water practices by establishing a permanent knowledge base in the area.
  • Establish a local oversight and tracking structure to ensure proper filter construction and use.


The Ethiopia Water Filtration Project is being designed to follow the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) protocol for low greenhouse gas emitting water purification systems. The project has been independently validated as a Gold Standard micro-scale project. Project performance is monitored and verified annually.