Counting the Benefits

Today Carbon Zero Kenya prides in more than 60,000 stoves across the country benefitting the local communities. Among the many stove beneficiaries is Hannah Njoki Ndung’u a 57 year’s old woman who lives in Aberdares project area of Kimende village in Lari Sub-county in Kenya. Hannah is a wife and a happy mother of four. Hannah narrates that since the acquisition of Carbon Zero stove, her cooking habits have changed therefore contributing to tremendous change in her health and finances as explained in her own words.

She says “…..having used this Carbon Zero stove for 3 years now, I use less fuel than before and this has cut down on my expenses on wood. The stove also cooks faster since the fire burns straight to the pot thus am able to save time to do other economic activities and I am glad my kitchen is smokeless. I don’t suffer from chest congestion as a result of excessive smoke anymore and even my eyes don’t itch as they used to while using the three stone stove. I am happy that I got this stove as it has uniquely changed my life. As a family all of us are happy, my kids and husband are happy and that gives me a reason to smile too as a mother and a wife.”
Hannah continues to explain that within the larger Aberdares area there is acute wood shortage with dwindling forest cover and land divisions. Villagers especially those without the CZK energy efficient stove have to walk long distances into the risky Kereita forest to fetch firewood for domestic use. The forest is risky as several wild animals live there. The distance to the forest is more than 4km therefore Hannah prefers to purchase firewood. To her relief, her wood expenses have been reduced by more than a half since the acquisition of the carbon Zero Kenya Ltd stove.
Aberdares 22
With a smile she gladly does the math and says,” Three years ago, I used to spend kshs 600 to buy a bundle of wood which I used for 2 days only. Nowadays, I spend only kshs300 for a bundle which serves me for 4 days. You see, there is a whole 300kshs for myself to use for other things; I can pay for my kids school fees, buy food and even invest some and that’s why am happy. Saving money is not easy so once you get somewhere to save you thank God.”
Wittily she adds, “One bundle of wood lasted two days since 3-stone is an open fire and more heat is wasted but this new stove is enclosed that is why the wood goes for four days.”
At Carbon Zero we understand that building positive relationships with communities is paramount to the success of our work. As a result in order to ensure that maximum stove benefits are realized, our Community Officers train and demonstrate proper stove use and maintenance .This has enabled the beneficiaries to get the best use of fuel efficient stove. Some of the practices advocated for in the trainings include, stove maintenance, wood storage for better stove performance, and stove lighting which makes it easy for the beneficiaries to get a stove ready for cooking.

Compiled by; Lilian Kinya, Virginia Njata and Moses Maina.

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