With our Tomorrow Zero current account, we support climate projects that benefit people and their environment. One new addition is a water project in Eritrea that safeguards access to clean drinking water and cuts down on CO₂ emissions. An estimated two billion people around the world have no access to clean drinking water. Contaminated drinking water is one of the leading causes of death in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, such as Eritrea, where only 50 percent of people have access to clean drinking water. Water from ponds or rivers is frequently contaminated with deadly pathogens and has to be boiled before it can be used. As well as this, sections of forests are cut down for firewood, which in turn exacerbates the problems in these areas. Trees are vitally important, particularly in dry regions. Preserving them not only lowers our global CO₂ emissions but also reduces local soil erosion and desertification. Forests offer shade and maintain a cooler microclimate, providing a suitable habitat for a greater diversity of species.
This is why we are supporting a drinking water project in the Zoba Maekel district of Eritrea, in northeast Africa, with our climate-neutral account Tomorrow Zero – with which you can offset the average carbon footprint of a person in Germany (around 11 tonnes). The scheme is geared towards repairing broken wells with a view to securing a supply of clean drinking water for as many people as possible in the long term, as well as minimising carbon emissions and introducing more resource-friendly practices.
However, the climate crisis is not only intensifying the effects of natural disasters and endangering people’s health but is also driving a deeper wedge between rich and poor. Firstly, it is taking a greater toll on people in the Global South, who had the least hand in causing it. And secondly, marginalised people are even more affected by situations like the one in Eritrea. This is particularly the case for women and children, who are often responsible for the time-consuming process of purifying water and have to walk long distances to the next water source every day, which leaves less time for going to school or carrying out other tasks. As well as this, the smoke produced when boiling water over an open fire makes them especially susceptible to respiratory diseases. The water scheme in Eritrea can also help to combat this.
The project we are involved in helps to sequester as many as 70,000 tonnes of CO₂ a year. So far, over 300 wells have already been repaired and 30,000 households provided with clean drinking water. We will continue to support this mission together with you. You can follow our progress on the Impact Board on our website and in the app – or by reading our monthly Impact Report. Until June 2021, we provided valuable support to the Improved Kitchen Regimes drinking water project in Uganda with Tomorrow Zero. You can find out more about the impact of this project in our 2020 Sustainability Report. Read on
More details on Tomorrow Zero and the other projects we are supporting can be found here.
And you can also find out here how the interchange fee that is charged with each card payment is being used to protect rainforests in Portel, Brazil.