Over the last decade, terms such as community mobilization, citizen involvement, community participation, community organizing, community dialogue, multi-stakeholder processes, interactive decision-making and social learning have been frequently used in the literature of community development. These terms embody the idea of bringing together different stakeholders who have an interest in a problem situation and engaging them in processes of dialogue and collective learning that can improve innovation, decision-making and action.
Poverty, increasing population pressure, lack of alternative sources of livelihood and lack of education and awareness, commonly result in over exploitation of natural resources. The increasing destruction of the natural environment ultimately impacts negatively on the lives of the local communities, resulting in a cycle of poverty and environmental abuse.
For our day to day project activities to be successful, a participatory approach in implementation is the right approach in any community. Sustaining cordial relationships and conducting need assessment fosters a good environment for initiation and implementation of conservation programs. In this regard, involving all stakeholders’ especially local community leaderships in all phases of implementation ensures a smooth rollout and successful closure of projects.
Co2balance has since the inception of Kaptagat project involved local administration officers in the implementation of energy efficient cook stove project. This has positively contributed to good response in cooking habits change campaign. Immediate exercise in influencing adoption and successful partnership in this innovative program has seen close 16000 households adopt and reap benefits of using energy efficient cook stoves within the community. Despite everyday challenges, local governments are in a unique position to be a role model for efficient and sustainable practices within the local communities.
In Kaptagat Project area, Nyaru Location , Mr. Silas Kigen the Chief Nyaru Location together with his assistants are a sample of very productive leaders who have seen the rollout of Kaptagat region achieve tremendous success. Our Community Projects Officer recently had an encounter with the Chief who had this to say, “I welcome visitors in my Location especially if they are bringing development to my community. I am happy to be part of Co2balance in this noble course. I also acknowledge that almost all households in my location are free of smoky stoves. I am sure of a cleaner environment and that will go a long way in eradicating many smoke related complications. I guarantee that my office will support in all your community education programs.”
As we traverse the vast Nyaru location, which comprises 2 sub locations and several many villages, the community leaders are so helpful when it comes to matters Carbon Zero. This has in turn instilled confidence and appreciation by the community.
Many thanks goes to these community leaders as they are key to a conducive working environment and bringing an impact in our energy efficient cook stove project and to the entire community for embracing a conservation program that improves living standards.
Compiled by; Samuel Kiplimo, Virginia Njata and Moses Maina