Meru stove roll-out complete!!

Congratulations to our field staff team for  successfully completing the roll out of 500 CZK stoves in Meru!

On January 14th the final batch of CZK stoves was transported from our factory in Mombasa to a the project area.  Despite being held up at a weigh bridge on the outskirts of Nairobi the stoves arrived safely and on schedule.

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Over the past two weeks our local field officers have been busy distributing and tracking the stoves under the guidance of newly appointed regional coordinator, Virgina Njeri. Thanks to their hard work, and together with the help of local village leaders all the stoves have been installed in  their designated households.

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With the aim of raising environmental awareness, each recipient was provided with one to one education on the benefits of the stove. This will hopefully lead to the long-term transition to more sustainable cooking practices. Furthermore, in order to ensure that the stoves can be tracked for future monitoring and maintenance, each one has been marked with a unique serial number and GPS tagged.

Background

The Meru South district lies at the foothills of Mount Kenya and is characterised by a diverse range of eco-systems, including  montane forests, lowland humid forests and savanna. Around 70% of the  population in Meru  live below the poverty line, still relying heavily on biomass for cooking and water purification. The majority of people still cook using the traditional three stone fire method, which not only requires large amounts of wood fuel, but also produces lots of smoke, causing indoor pollution. The collection of wood fuel has also contributed to wide scale deforestation, resulting in soil erosion and loss of biodiversity ,thus creating further challenges for the local population who are heavily dependent on natural resources for subsistence.

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Additional social and economic impacts of three stone fires include:

  • High CO2 emissions due to amount of firewood needed.
  • Up to 6 hours per day is spent on collecting wood fuel which could otherwise be used for developmental activities.
  • Families already struggle to meet their needs and the extra cost of buying fuel wood can be a major burden on their resources.
  • Indoor smoke pollution increases vulnerability to diseases such as tuberculosis. As women and children area generally responsible for kitchen duties, they are most at risk to indoor pollution.

Through lowering fuel consumption by over 50% and virtually eliminating the production of smoke, the CZK stoves have an important role to play in sustainable development and have already helped to alleviate many of the the negative impacts caused by traditional three stone cooking methods in Meru.

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Plans progressing in West Kisumu

co2balance’s improved cook stove project in West Kisumu, Kenya has recently seen exciting progress as plans to introduce the new artisanal stove start to move forward! The locally produced stove will soon be available to purchase at a highly subsidised cost thanks to carbon finance. With a workshop space secured, we look forward to our local artisans beginning construction in the coming weeks!

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Case study from Cameroon

In the previous post on Cameroon we wrote about the successful stakeholder meeting and the promising partnership co2balance launched with a local NGO, ACREST on improved cookstoves. ACREST has been successfully producing and selling the stoves in the past years and now thanks to co2balance subsidy channelled through the carbon market, the stoves are available to the wider community, serving families who previously could not afford buying it. Today we would like to present a case study of one of the existing ACREST cookstove users interviewed during our field trip in Cameroon.

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Madame Lontsie Ernestine has been using the improved stove for four years to cook for sometimes as many as 14 people in her extended family.

During the interview she explained that she liked the stove primarily because it consumed much less wood than the traditional stoves. She compared the amount of wood she used to burn to cook on the three stone fire to the amount she needed on the ACREST stove – today she needs only 3 pieces of wood instead of 15 pieces to cook the same meal (see pictures below).

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She also explained that since cooking on ACREST stove her health condition has improved thanks to the reduced in-house smoke. Just as other women in the area, she has been cooking inside the house and mainly in the evenings which has had very serious effect on her sight. The exposure to smoke from three-stone fire had caused eye irritation to an extent that her eyes were bloodshot and painful on a regular basis. She welcomed the partnership and the lower price for the improved cookstoves as she hopes that this way more women in the area will have access to better cooking conditions in their kitchen.

Co2balance is looking forward to supporting growing number of local families through the carbon market and in partnership with ACREST and hopefully we could soon report on similar success stories from West-Cameroon.

First Rwandan stoves arrive safely in the Project Area!

The first batch of stoves for our Rwanda project have now left the factory in Kigali and have safely arrived in our Project Area in the Bugesera District. Our Construction, Maintenance & Logistics Manager worked alongside the local team at the factory to ensure that all the stoves were completed to a high standard, and quality checked as they were loaded onto the truck ready for delivery.

ImageThe stoves then travelled from Kigali to Bugesera where they were met by our local NGO partner, and stored close to their final destination with the families in the Ngeruka Sector. The next couple of weeks will see the distribution of all of these stoves to the houses of the first families!

ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems – How could we help?

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co2balance has been awarded it’s re accreditation certificate from the United Kingdom Accreditation Council, substantiating that its Environmental Management System delivers best practice standards and fulfills legislative requirements.

The BS EN ISO 14001:2004 is an internationally accepted standard outlining how businesses should put an effective environmental management system in place. Its purpose is to help businesses remain commercially successful without forgetting their environmental responsibilities.

In addition to be ISO 14001 accredited, co2balance also offers a consultancy services to help organisations develop and implement their own Environmental Management Systems. There are numerous benefits to certification;

• Certification demonstrates that an effective and ongoing Environmental System is in place.
• Significant advantage over competitors when tendering for business.
• Reduced environmental liability.
• Cost savings from Electricity, Utilities, Consumables, and Waste Disposal
• Improve corporate image among regulators, customers and the public.
• Existing personnel know they are working in an environmentally responsible organisation.
• Improves competitiveness when dealing with Local Authorities, Multinationals, and the like.
• Provides a framework for working within Industry Regulations and Legal Responsibilities.

If you would like to find out how we could help your organisation in implementing its own Environmental Management System, please contact us here

UK Energy Exposure Day for DFID advisors

Yesterday afternoon, Co2balance attended the UK Energy Exposure Day for DFID advisors at the Bloomberg conference centre in London. The focal point of the conference was energy access and infrastructure development in Africa. It provided an excellent opportunity to network with project developers and donor organisations, share business ideas, discuss sources of funding and learn about the latest advances in off-grid technologies and policy. Hopefully, this will lead to new opportunities for us in the future and we look forward to taking part in the next event.

His Excellency welcomes co2balance Project

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Suzanne and Ellie from co2balance, along with our Climate Corporation partner, have recently had the pleasure to meet the High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to the UK. At a recent meeting in London, co2balance shared their experiences in Rwanda and the details of our latest project, and received a great response! As implementation is set to begin in Rwanda, we continue to build our relationships here in the UK to ensure the best project possible for the communities. Check back soon as we follow the progress of the first stoves heading to their households. . .