Clean Energy & Water

Access to water and energy are two vital rights that many of us take for granted. 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity and more than 650 million people worldwide don't have access to safe water.

With no clean source of light, many people are left to rely on expensive and dangerous alternatives such as homemade kerosene lamps which emit toxic smoke and black carbon, a significant contributor to global warming. Kerosene lamps can cost a family up to 15% of their income by restricting childrens' study hours, ending the working day prematurely and presenting serious health risks. Expanding access to clean energy is important for ensuring people can live healthy and fulfilled lives.

Clean water is essential for people's health and livelihoods. More than 2 billion people, including 74% of the world's poor, live on drylands which comprise 40% of the world's land surface and support 50% of the world's livestock. Drylands are sensitive ecosystems that play an important role in the Earth's carbon cycle. Yet they are already experiencing the starkest effects of climate change. Desertification, or land degradation, wrought on by climate change, in turn emits vast amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus into the atmosphere. The human cost is profound too. Drylands are difficult environments to live in and the unpredictable and often unsafe task of searching for water often falls upon women and children. If greenhouse gasses emissions continue to rise, Drylands are projected to increase by 10% alongside increasing droughts and likely poverty.

2 Charities

Tythe supports these clean energy & water charities, selected by experts because of their high impact.

Excellent development

Excellent Development

·Africa, India

Contrary to what the climate naysayers would have us believe, the effects of climate change are already being felt. No more so than in areas of the world where a rapidly changing climate is turning fertile land to desert. According to Excellent Development, it's estimated 50 million people could be displaced by 2030 as a result of desertification.

Excellent Development is an initiative working with dryland communities across Africa and India to achieve water and food security through soil and water conservation, all enabled by sand dams - a simple, low-cost rainwater harvesting technology.

If managed well, with the help of sustainable farming practices, drylands can become fertile, capable of supporting habitats, crops and livestock. In turn, that environment - the trees, the crops, the soil itself - plays a vital role in the carbon cycle and ultimately in mitigating climate change.

Why we think they're great

Excellent Development are ambitious and that's clearly what's needed here. To date they have built 1,174 sand dams across ten countries, providing over a million people with access to clean water for life. Their goal now is to work in collaboration with other organisations, pledging to build 1 million sand dams for 0.5 billion people by 2040.

Further Reading



Light is essential for life but without access to electricity, 548 million people across sub-Saharan Africa are resorting to dangerous, polluting alternatives like kerosene lamps and crude oil candles.

In response, SolarAid has pioneered a simple solution with a huge impact. By working together with local communities, the project has provided solar lights to homes, schools and hospitals. In real terms, that means 12,300,000 people now have access to clean, safe, solar light and 2,400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions has been averted.

Their sights are now set on lighting up every home, school and clinic in Africa by 2030 using safe, clean, solar power.

Why we think they're great

SolarAid's mantra is 'trade not aid' and that's what sets them apart from other organisations. Rather than gifting solar lights on a traditional charitable basis, they've created a sustainable local market for solar lights, through their social enterprise, Sunny Money. In doing so, they've given local people ownership over the sale of lights, have built trust in renewable energy and have created resilient local economies.

Further Reading

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