Vestergaard Frandsen, a maker of disease-control products for poor nations, will start operating a carbon-offset program in western Kenya that also curbs water- borne illnesses.
The Switzerland-based company plans to distribute 970,000 water-purification systems to almost every household in Kenya’s Western province, helping 4.5 million people to access clean drinking water, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, chief executive officer, said in a phone interview from Lausanne on April 20.
“We expect this to have a massive impact on health and be financed by the carbon market,” Vestergaard Frandsen said. “We are hoping to reduce the incidents of diarrhea and respiratory infection -- two of the biggest diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.”
The Carbon for Water program, certified by the Gold Standard Foundation, a Geneva-based registry for voluntary carbon credits, may reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the East African nation by as much as 2.5 million metric tons a year, he said. JP Morgan Chase & Co. agreed to purchase 1.2 million tons of voluntary emission-reduction credits generated by project in 2012, he said. Kenya’s carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels totalled 11.4 million tons in 2009, up from 11.2 million tons a year earlier, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Website.