Impacts of solar lamps in Africa

There are approximately 110 million off-grid households in Africa and in Sub-Saharan Africa only 9% of the rural population has access to electricity. An estimated 58.3 million of those without grid access are using kerosene to light their homes. In Kenya for example 92% of the population uses kerosene for lighting. However, kerosene is expensive, typically accounting for 10 – 15% of total household income. It is bad for people’s health and the World Bank estimates that breathing kerosene fumes is the equivalent of smoking two packets of cigarettes a day. If this wasn’t enough, a single kerosene lamp emits one tone of carbon dioxide over five years.

CO2balance’s long term vision upon realizing financing goals is to distribute 10,000 solar lamps to rural communities in Africa that are most at need. Moreover, there will be several significant impacts from this project across the environment, society, people’s health and the overall well-being.

The tables below present the significant impacts of the project such as 2,000 tco2e will avoided from being released to the atmosphere in each year.  In addition, a family in Kenya could saves £74 on average on kerosene use and young people can study 2 more hours per day.

solar lamps

Water Provision in Sub-Saharan Africa

Across the globe, around 780 million people lack access to safe water supplies, which equates to approximately one in eight (JMP, 2012). In Africa alone, around one third of the continent’s population are without access to clean water and UNICEF estimates that  over 1.5 million child deaths per year are caused as a result of drinking contaminated water (UNICEF/WHO, 2009).

Over the last few decades, rural water demand in developing countries has primarily been addressed through the large-scale implementation of decentralized water points such as boreholes and shallow wells. However, one of the major barriers to clean water provision is that many countries do not have the infrastructure, regulation or financial capacity to conduct maintenance and repair programs. In Africa, existing water points are generally owned by community groups or Village Health and Water Committee (VHWC’s) and more often than not fall into disrepair because maintenance schemes have been poorly managed, or prove too expensive.

To highlight the magnitude of the problem, approximately 35% of all boreholes (345,071) in Sub Saharan Africa are estimated to be dysfunctional-see table below (Rural Water Supply Network 2009)

borehole dataDespite millions of pounds being invested in new water infrastructure there is evidently a greater need to implement effective long-term water management programs that prevent existing water points from becoming damaged. CO2balance are currently exploring innovative new ways to tackle this problem through carbon finance, which could indeed provide a viable means of addressing water scarcity across the developing world.

“Proud of my energy efficient stove”

In Karindundu Village in Mathira meet a very cheerful elderly mother by the name Martha Wangari.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIShe lives with her husband in their farm. As she welcomes us to her homestead, she offers to prepare us some tea. She went out in her field around the homestead to collect some firewood. She was only out for a few minutes and she returned with only a small buddle of fire wood in her hand.

On seeing the amazement on our faces she smiles and says:
“hii kuni haiwezi pika chai ukitumia jiko yangu ya zamani. Lakini kwa hii jiko mpya,tutapika chai n a hii kuni haitamalizika” (She says if she were using her 3-stone stove, that amount of firewood would be barely enough to cook tea. But using the CZ stove, she will use the firewood and the buddle won’t be spent).

As we wait for the tea to be ready, the environment in the kitchen is fresh and free of smoke. She smiles happily and says:“ kama tungekua tunatumia jiko yangu ya zamani, mungekua mumeketi huko nje kwa sababu ya moshi” (She says, if she were using her old 3- stone stove, the environment in her kitchen would have been very uncomfortable due to a lot of smoke).

She continued to share with us how cooking was always a nightmare to her before she received the new CZK stove. She says that excess smoke caused her a lot of sneezing and coughing.
As we bid her goodbye, she also thanked the CZK Company for a life changing experience that she is always proud of.

The impact of the co2balance cookstoves in Bugasera, Rwanda

In the past weeks we have analysed several monitoring studies conducted for the VPA 1 Bugesera Improved Cook Stoves (GS 1267) project and we were very pleased to receive such positive feedbacks on the project from our stove users.

The Kitchen Performance Test aimed to provide a quantified figure of the actual wood saving of the stove, while the Kitchen Surveys provided more qualitative data on the experience of using improved stove in the household. All respondents interviewed for the Kitchen Surveys answered that they are happy with the improved stoves and use it on average twice a day. 77% of the interviewees indicated that the stove used less wood, while 12% and 10% appreciated that the improved stove reduced cooking time and produced less smoke respectively. In line with this founding, 94% of stove users answered that they enjoyed faster cooking since using the improved cookstove.

The Kitchen Surveys also explored the wood use before and after the project to triangulate the quantitative data from the Kitchen Performance Tests on the changes in wood use. The data from the Kitchen Performance Tests showed that the average wood consumption decreased as a result of the project (from 13.62 to 3.22 kg/hh/day) and the answers in the Kitchen Surveys reinforced the assumptions that it lead to improved health and socio-economic conditions of the households.

According to the answers the smoke level in the households decreased significantly, as 85% of the respondents noticed less smoke produced by the co2balance designed “Gabanyibicanwa stove “ compared to the 3-stone fire. 54% of the people told that their overall health condition improved after adopting the improved cookstove while 23%-23% noted less coughing and less eye irritation. Combined with wood fuel measurements taken during the Baseline Survey it is clear that use of the stove results in a cleaner and healthier cooking environment.

12 km per day less

Ruth Nanyanzi is a Form 3 student of Iganga girls Secondary School. She comes from the village of Iguliryo in Kaliro district in Eastern Uganda.

Ruth Nanyanzi a resident of Iguliryo

Ruth Nanyanzi a resident of Iguliryo

Every holiday she spends a week at home in the village. Her village is not connected into the national grid and so she is restricted to daytime hours to get that extra study needed to compete with the students from the urban areas of the country who get extra hours in the night to do their holiday study.

Currently her home is located 2km away fro the nearest borehole. She has to go there three times every day which adds to a total of 12 kms. This makes her lose a lot of time that could have been used for study and as a result she has much less time for study and for her social time as well. However, there is a borehole right in front of the house where she lives  that has been non functional for about 5 years.

Borehole hidden by a plant camouflage

Borehole hidden by a plant camouflage

When I first went to this area, I did not recognize it as it had been overgrown by a bush in the middle of the garden.

Presently this borehole has been rehabilitated, much to the delight of the community. Ruth is currently at school preparing for what we used to call “Moscow” exams ( the exams the year before finals). When she gets home and gets the motions going to prepare for her final year, she will be extayic at the prospect of going 12 km less every day to collect safe water.

Progress in Malawi

Last week we received confirmation from the Gold Standard that our first 4 micro scale borehole projects in Malawi had been Listed. This is a land mark in what has been a slow moving project but one that carries an enormous amount of potential.

2014 07 14 Malawi Borehole Picture #2

The project aims to improve access to clean water in one of the world’s poorest countries, ranked 160th out of 182 in the Human Development Index. In fact according to the United Nations about 74% of the population still lives below the poverty line of $1.25 a day and an incredible 90% are below the $2 a day threshold.

On top of this Malawi is considered a water stressed country with less than 1,700m3 of fresh water per capita. This problem is amplified by remarkable population growth, especially in its urban areas. Future water demand projections predict that Malawi will fall to less than 1,000 m3 of fresh water per capita as early as 2015.

2014 07 14 Malawi Borehole Picture

Against this back drop only 65% of Malawi’s population has access to improved water and sanitation. Therefore to achieve its 2015 MDG targets more than 6 million additional people will require access to clean water and sanitation facilities.

Our projects are playing a small but vital role in helping Malawi meet its MDG targets and we have now repaired more than 60 boreholes which are currently providing communities with clean and safe water, while also helping to avoid current and future GHG emissions.

Getting ready for ESOS

Some you may be aware of the Government’s new Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which forces “large undertakings” to audit their energy usages and report them to the Environment Agency.

The concept is that through activity managing your energy usage it will open up your eyes to potential areas of energy savings, which has the “double whammy” of saving money as well as carbon emissions.

ESOS has been created in response the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU).  In layman’s terms it is an assessment of your energy consumption, so very much like the Greenhouse Gas Audits that we regularly carry out for our clients.

You have to comply if you are a “large undertaking”, meaning that you….

  • employ at least 250 persons; or
  • employ fewer than 250 persons but has an annual turnover in excess of 50 million euro and an annual balance sheet in excess of 43 million euro

You need to submit your data to the Environment Agency by 5th December 2015, but as ever preparation is vital and it is important to start looking at the way you collect and manage your data as soon as possible.

As ever with new schemes such as this there are lots of holes that need to be finalised and definitions to be clarified; we’ll post more articles on the scheme as they are made public, along with more information about how we can support you to ensure that you are fully complaint – if you have any queries in the meantime then please get in touch.