Deforestation in Africa: Water filters save trees in Uganda

Clean water is a human right. But in Uganda, children die every year from diarrhea caused by diseases contracted through polluted water. Worldwide, acute gastroenteritis is the second leading cause of death in young children up to the age of five.  

The large refugee settlement of Nakivale in western Uganda is no exception: access to clean drinking water is very rare. Dina Nabintu, who fled violence in Congo (DRC) with her family, has to boil water from the nearby lake. But boiling consumes large amounts of wood and coal, resulting in deforestation and high CO2 emissions.

Two young social entrepreneurs, Saudah Birungi and Henry Othieno, want to change that with their company Tusafishe. They have installed large granite sand-based water filters in thirty schools. The filters cost approximately €500 ($604). Each set of parents has contributed just under 1 euro. Using this method, the water is cleaned without having to boil it.

According to Tusafishe, each filter saves 1,500 kg of CO2 every day. For their water project, Saudah Birungi and Henry Othieno were given the "SEED Low Carbon Award" in 2019.   

These days Dina Nabintu and the other residents of the refugee settlement have learned through the project how to build smaller, efficient water filters to use at home themselves. 

A film by Julius Mugambwa and Wolf Gebhardt 




6,41 min


Global Ideas

The television reports and documentaries of Deutsche Welle's 'Global Ideas' media project provide people all over the world with information on model projects which implement biodiversity and climate protection. The media project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative.