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  • Writer's pictureTraveler Jo

Lighthouse Stake Pool & the Quest for Clean Water

The Cardano community is a diverse, global enterprise. We speak varying languages and sometimes differ in our priorities. However, we all need water to survive. According to the WHO, over 785 million people globally did not have safe water to drink in 2017. Unsafe water can transmit diseases such as dysentery, cholera and polio. In places without adequate medical facilities, diarrhea can be deadly. In fact, over 450,000 deaths a year are attributed to contaminated water. And in the least developed countries, 22% of medical facilities do not have water or waste removal service, adding to the spread of disease.

Additionally, water availability is also impacted by climate change. According to UNICEF, over 70% of natural disasters between 2001 and 2018 were weather related. These types of disasters can contaminate existing water sources. Rising sea levels are also increasing the salinity of water sources, making them undrinkable. This means that in many areas the struggle for water access will only worsen over time. Water will become more and more scarce. Therefore, water conservation and environmental education are increasingly important.

Most of the people reading this article never have to think about water. It is easily available at the tap. Please take a moment and imagine how your day would change if you had no reliable access to water. How much time would you lose if you had to walk miles to get water and then return home? What if you had to constantly boil water before consuming it? What if your hospital didn’t have any clean water access? Even if, through ingenuity and great cost, you obtained safe water, how much time was spent just getting your drinking water? Now imagine this cycle repeats itself every day. Our friends in the developing world can spend most of their day procuring water and food, leaving little time for anything else. Conversely in the developed world, we are so busy producing plastics, and shipping plastic waste, that we have contaminated multitudes of oceans and rivers.

While water access and conservation are a global concern, there is no one size fits all resolution. The best solution, of course, varies depending on the geographic location and the skills of those involved.

Nick from Lighthouse stake pool is focused on providing clean water for some of the poorest regions of Africa. Nick currently resides in Italy but feels a deep connection to Malawi after traveling there some years ago. That experience helped him understand the challenges faced by people who have to walk miles to obtain water that is safe to drink. His work is possible through a close collaboration with trusted local contacts and annual site visits.

Nick is a pragmatic guy, and the work has real benefit. The revenue from Lighthouse is changing lives in Southern Malawi (in the Mangochi District) with the help of a trusted partner. Lighthouse is funding the drilling of wells in remote villages. People in these villages have no access to clean drinking water and are forced to collect surface water from small streams, a practice which is the reason for many fatal cases of diarrhea, cholera and typhus in the region.

Moreover, in Malawi it is mainly women and children that are responsible for getting water. They often have to walk a long way, spending hours on this activity. Having wells in the villages also allows women the time to take care of their children, educate themselves or start a small enterprise to bring extra revenue to their family. As Lighthouse grows, Nick hopes to make regular donations to the project and finance one well every few months. This is possible through a close collaboration with trusted local contacts and annual site visits.

Nick also organized a second project that concerns the filtration of water from a captured spring in Uganda. He was approached directly by Gloria who runs an orphanage in the village, with the problem that the water is often muddy, especially when it has rained. The solution they came up with, after consulting with a hydrogeologist, was to plant Vetiver grass in the area above the spring. The roots of this grass are a fine mesh that grows to a depth of 3-4 meters and naturally filters the water. The grass can also be cut several times a year for animal food. This was an interesting pilot project at a much lower cost and the hope is that this technique could also be applicable in other villages and other countries.

A future Lighthouse project is the pedal pump irrigation system project. Pedal pumps have been proven to increase the harvest substantially for the families, thereby allowing them to sell the excess production. The extra irrigation can help many of the families to better their conditions by paying for child education, improving housing for the family and paying for other basic commodities. Without regular irrigation crops in this part of the world are difficult to grow and loans to build irrigation systems are impossible to get. Hopefully Atala prism and some other IOHK initiatives will eventually allow people to get loans. Until that happens, Lighthouse stake pool will continue working from village to village, as each project has its own unique requirements.

If you are interested in a hardworking stake pool that genuinely wants to help people - look no further than Lighthouse Stake Pool. Nick is committed to Cardano and to changing the world for the better. Delegators to Lighthouse stake pool still get their rewards - and help change lives in a different part of the world.

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