At the end of September the 2nd Verification for the Meru South improved cook stoves project will take place. Meru South is one of thirteen districts located in the Eastern Province of Kenya, northeast of Mt Kenya with a population of approximately 250,000 people. In 2000, 72% of the population in Meru South lived below the poverty line.
CO2balance installed the first stove of the project activity on 14/03/2011. During last year, 994 cook stoves were distributed and a total of 8129 stoves since the project’s start in 2011. The local people have received stoves free of charge and have been directed in correct use of the stove by local community groups engaging with the project developers. In Meru South the improved cook stoves significantly reduce fuel consumption, by approximately 49%, resulting in an improved living environment for local people and reduced pressure on local forests, with approximately 17690 tonnes of wood saved only the last year. In addition, new employment opportunities have emerged related to the different phases and scopes of the project.
However, the most important fact is that by reducing fuel consumption, CO2 emissions from combustion of non-renewable biomass have been correspondingly reduced by 28,954 tCO2e the year 2013-2014. Moreover, CO2balance plans to distribute in total approximately 20,000 domestic wood-burning improved cook stoves in households within the project area in Meru South.
In April 2014, Carbon Zero Kenya (CZK) received funding from the Australian High Commission to implement a women’s cook stove project in West Kisumu, Kenya. Over the last 5 months CZK have been busy laying the foundations of a cookstove enterprise run by the Umeme Women’s Group. In total, ten members of group have been trained to assemble and sell the efficient cookstoves, thus providing them with a new skill, which will allow them to supplement their income from farming and improve their quality of life. So far, the project has been progressing well and has demonstrated that it would indeed be viable to upscale local cookstove production models throughout the region. It is also important to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of CZK’s staff as well as the enthusiasm of the Umeme Women’s Group which has been crucial to ensuring a successful outcome.
With the stove construction phase coming to an end, all efforts have now shifted to sales and marketing. Although selling the stoves is primarily the responsibility of the Umeme Women’s Group, Carbon Zero Kenya is providing support in establishing market linkages and sales networks to facilitate the volumes required.Each member of the group stands to earn approximately $1000 from stove sales, which is more than the average national income in Kenya. Ensuring that the project has a long term effect on sustainable development, the fuel efficient jikos will be included under CO2balance’ Gold Standard carbon project, which means that the emission reductions generated through their use can be sold on the voluntary carbon market to raise additional finance for the Umeme Women’s Group.