Stroke of Luck for Rural Women in Kenya

Worldwide demand for energy to meet social and economic development and improve human welfare and health has been on the increase over the years. This has attracted many versions of energy efficient technologies springing up with an overall objective to save planet Earth.

Carbon Zero Kenya Ltd has remained a key player in the fight against climate change by developing projects that aim at mitigating the effects of the current global crisis. Over the last six years Carbon Zero has persistently worked with local communities in Kenya in promoting use of clean energy thus reducing demand for wood hence bringing down the overall speed of deforestation.

In the South of Mt Kenya is Mathira East project where the company has continued to advocate  and champion the adoption of energy efficient cook stoves, not only with the aim to mitigate green house gases emission but also improving the lives of the community  both economically and socially.

Among the notable aspects of the Carbon Zero energy efficient stove that attracts massive beneficiaries appreciation is in its great ability to save fuel. Wood fuel is a scarce commodity in this region. In addition, fuel costs have risen as more and more forests are cleared, therefore Carbon Zero stoves come in handy in the search of solutions for fuel shortages.

In one of the many success stories in the area, we meet Mrs. Grace Kangacu in her home. She is an aged grandmother from Mathaithi village. She shared her journey before and after receiving Carbon Zero energy efficient cook stove.

Pointing at three children playing outside her house, Mrs.Grace Kangacu explains how she felt deserted when her other grandchildren were growing up. Being a widow, she felt very lonely .She further recounts that before receiving the CZ stove she used to spend the nights alone because her sons’ wives could not allow the children to her kitchen as they feared a likelihood of fire accidents. ’They said that I am aged therefore not swift enough to handle the playful young ones’’ which she agrees it is true. ‘’All this changed when I started using my new (CZ) stove. Now my evenings are full of laughter from my grandchildren since their mothers are comfortable to let them visit. My new stove is safe as the fire is well enclosed inside the stove to prevent accidents and conserving a lot of energy too,’ ’ She confidently wraps up her testimony.

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Seeing that wood collected from Mrs. Grace’s farm lasts longer while using a CZ stove, the need to make back up wood purchases has  also become a thing of the past.

Carbon Zero Kenya is proud of making a change and brightening Graces’ sunset years.

Compiled by; Purity Maina, Virginia Njeri and Moses Maina

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Feasibility Assessment in Zambia

Many community members are very satisfied with the provision of clean and safe drinking water from our projects.  Following the repair of rural boreholes, we receive comments like this one: “We have no more stomach problems or frequent cases of typhoid” says one man months after the rehabilitation of his village borehole.

co2balance and Vita are currently  enabling clean water development in East African countries like Eritrea and Ethiopia. Wanting to expand the impact of their successful water projects, Vita and co2balance are now looking at starting further activities in Zambia.

To get a first  impression of the situation on the ground, co2balance Director Mark Simpson and Vita’s Head of Programmes John Gilliland recently visited the Southern African country.

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Meeting with potential partners as well as viewing broken and repaired boreholes, co2balance and Vita are building contacts and assessing the potential for new projects – capable of improving rural livelihoods and reducing carbon emissions.

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We will keep you posted…!

 

 

Project Visit

Last month, I returned from a trip to Ethiopia and Kenya where I was able to see projects that are in their infancy but also some of our well-established projects. It was great to see people’s enthusiasm for the projects with the expectation that the projects would make a measurable difference in their lives but also be able to talk to people that have experienced a change and who express their appreciation.

In Ethiopia I attended stakeholder meetings for 5 new projects that are being established together with one of our project partners. It was fantastic to see how professional and thorough the team were in organising the meetings but also how engaged the local communities and also local government were in the work that is planned for the area.

In Kenya, I visited our projects in Meru and close to the coast around Shimba Hills. The contrast in the landscapes and experience from the two different parts of the country was striking, from the fertile soils around Mount Kenya to the vast plains around Kasigau, near Shimba Hills, both were incredible! As always I was impressed by the relationship that our field staff have built with the communities since the project was established and their knowledge of the local area.

I want to say a big thank you, ameseginalehu and asante to both teams for the trip; it is one I will remember!

International Day of the Girl Child

As the world over commemorated this year’s International Day of the Girl Child on the 11th  of October 2016, with the theme “girls’ progress = goals’ progress: what counts for girls”, 16 year old Scovia Adong, a pupil of Telela Primary School was oblivious about the meaning of this day or that it even existed. For her, it was business as usual. She went on with her daily home chores and left for school –  arriving late like she usually does.

Scovia lives with her 73 year old grandmother in a small grass thatched house and helps her with all the house chores and errands. Top on her list is collecting water for their house use which she does first thing before leaving for school. During her lunch break, she returns home to prepare a quick meal for her grandmother and also help her with cleaning the compound.

I wake up at 6am and set out to the open spring that is 3km away from my grandmother’s home. I have to move to that open source because the borehole (Telela) close to our home broke down. When it broke down, my mother requested me to move in with my grandmother so as to help her collect water. After collecting the water, I have to boil it so that it can be safe for drinking – after which, I help her with other tasks before leaving for school at 8am. Since my school is 1.5km away, I am always late for school and this affects my studies.

 

Telela borehole is one of the safe water sources being rehabilitated by co2balance under its expansion of the Lango Safe Water Project. This borehole rehabilitation comes as a gift on this special day of the Girl child for Adong Scovia whose home is just 30 meters from the borehole.The rehabilitation saw the borehole get a complete facelift from the old metallic pipes that were susceptible to rust to new plastic pipes that will ensure clean safe water.

The news of this borehole rehabilitation brought so much joy to her and her grandmother. She and her peers will no longer move long unsafe distances to access water from unsafe sources but rather have potable water close to them and minimize on the need to boil their water hence saving on the burning of woodfuel. The time saved will also help them concentrate on their studies and be able to achieve their set goals.

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Scovia Adong says thank you!

As my Primary Leaving Examinations draw close, I will now have enough time to concentrate on my studies and have good grades to enable me join a good secondary school. I want to be a fashion designer or tailor when I complete school. Thank you co2balance.

 

Training and Maintenance in Rwanda

As part of the continuous input mechanism, at Co2balance we closely monitor and regularly discuss the feedback of our stakeholders in the countries we operate. Following such discussions with our field team in Rwanda, we have come to the conclusion that currently there is an additional need for training on stove operations and replacement of certain parts of our stoves to ensure that they keep operating at the highest efficiency. Since the first stoves were introduced almost two years ago, stove maintenance and the training programme were encouraged by the Rwandan CDM DNA from REMA (Rwanda Environment Management Authority) as well. Co2balance has been working closely with the authorities to make sure that there is a high-level support of our cookstove projects in Bugasera District. We are proud that the necessary maintenance work was carried out by local manufacturers in the very same district where our stoves are placed and that the feedback about the training programmes have been very positive as well.

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