Caring for Future Generations

May be I should start by asking if you care for future generations-even a little, do you? Carbon Zero has made this its top priority. I guess you must be asking yourself how and why?

OK, do you know that nearly three billion people across the globe cook every single day using open, three-stone fires, or rudimentary stoves that burn biomass such as wood, agricultural waste, animal dung, and charcoal? Cooking with these traditional cook stoves is inefficient and grossly polluting, harming health and the environment, and contributing to global warming.

In many places worldwide, women must walk for hours to collect firewood, risking their safety and sacrificing energy and their valuable time that could be used to earn a living. While often overlooked as a major contributor to the global burden of disease, cooking over open fires indoors is the largest environmental health risk in developing countries, and exposes women and the young children to high levels of smoke that is very dangerous to their health.

Burning dry firewood can save money, time and resources. From experience a properly installed wood-burning stove should produce little smoke. That’s because newer technologies have better combustion. Did you know that better combustion technology produces a hotter fire and that a hot fire releases little smoke and requires less fuel? In fact smoke coming out of your chimney is simply – wasted energy.
At Carbon Zero we have taken it our responsibility to fight climate change thus has installed thousands of energy efficient cook stoves in many parts of the country (Kenya) and beyond. This was and has been a tough process of replacing old three stone stoves with more energy efficient Carbon Zero Stoves. The process has not been easy but we do not regret since the benefits that the local communities are enjoying as a result are tremendous, we wish we could do even more.

As a result we have maintained continuous contact with local communities training them how to use the stoves and also sharing experiences to enable us even enhance our work. In the process we have talked to many of our stove beneficiaries many times beyond number and they have categorically stated that energy efficiency benefits of using energy efficient cook stoves are:
• Saves money, fuel, time and resources.
• 50% more energy efficient.
• Uses 1/3 less wood for the same heat.
• Produces 70% less particle pollution indoors and out.
They have also indicated that Environmental benefits of using energy efficient cook stoves are :
• Reduces indoor and outdoor wood smoke pollution which has been linked to cancer, asthma and other serious health conditions.
• Improved combustion efficiency reduces CO2, methane and black carbon emissions.
• Saves billions in health benefits each year.

Now I know you know why it’s vital to embrace energy efficient cook stoves. Carbon Zero has frequently told this story, and it will continue because we know that if we do not protect the environment today then we are jeopardizing the lives of generations to come.

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An Exciting Few Weeks for the Team

The next couple of weeks promise to be action packed for the projects team. I am heading out to Malawi to meet with our partners Concern Universal to discuss ways we can work together to deliver even more great projects. While Richard is flying out to Kenya this weekend to prepare for and undertake the site visits for our two CDM cook-stove projects. He will be followed closely by Eszter who has a fantastic trip lined up to Uganda to check on our borehole projects, before heading off to Kenya for the Shimba Hills verification site visit.

While we all welcome the chance to get out of the office these trips are normally jam packed so that we can make the most of them and more often than not we return in need of a long holiday!

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Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Conference

Part of the co2balance team spent today attending the National Clean Cookstoves and Fuel Conference in Nairobi, Kenya hosted by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The Alliance’s goal is to catalyze the adoption of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by households through a market-based approach that will achieve the following objectives:

  • Reduce household air pollution
  • Reduce environmental degradation
  • Empower women and improve livelihoods

20140204_161045[1]The meeting kicked off with presentations from the US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec as well as representatives from the United Nations and the Kenyan Government. These were proceeded by informative talks ranging from the recent Customer Segmentation Study conducted by co2balance  to clean cookstove standards, distribution models and financing options.

It is safe to say that after a full day of talks all the delegates, including co2balance, left with a lot to think about and a renewed sense of purpose to achieve the target of 7 million households in Kenya using improved cookstoves by 2020.

Left to Right:
Charles Ruto, Moses Maina
and Lloyd Archer

Introducing Moses Maina, Project Development Coordinator

For those of you who have been following our blog you will be aware that we have been recruiting for a new role within the company, to be based in Nairobi, Kenya. After some tough decisions we have made our choice and it gives me great pleasure to introduce Moses Maina to you as our new Project Development Coordinator.

Moses is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Development Studies having already obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies (Community Development) from Kenyatta University. For the last 3 years he has worked for the Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR) based at Cambridge University as a Research Consultant. Prior to that Moses had worked for the German International Cooperation (GIZ) where he supported development of a renewable energy project promoting Akut biogas technology and energy saving stoves as a project supervisor. In his spare time Moses works as a Volunteer Project Assistant with the Nairobi Disabled Empowerment Programme, helping to raise funds and coordinate their activities.

His passion for sustainable environmental conservation & management developed about five years ago when he saw weather conditions becoming very unpredictable and changing for the worst, farm produce dwindling every season due unreliable rainfall patterns, drought affecting areas that were known to be wet almost the whole year round, rising atmospheric temperatures and many more – all these as a result of the global menace; climate change. Knowing well that most of these have been caused as a result of anthropogenic activities, Moses is very much determined to be part of the process that seeks to reduce greenhouse gases from the atmosphere thus save the world for both the current and coming generations.

Moses Maina Joins the TeamMoses: “I am very much pleased to officially join the co2balance team as the Project Development Coordinator in Kenya. I am hopeful that I will effectively work together with the rest of the team and thus bring positive change to the company and the world.”

Left to Right: Catherine Ruhiu ‘HR and Finance Coordinator’; Moses Maina ‘Project Development Coordinator’ and Charles Ruto ‘Construction, Maintenance & Logistics Manager’

I hope you will all join us in welcoming Moses to the team!

Jambo!

Having been in Nairobi for about a week now I can safely say that the weather here is much nicer than back in the UK, but I’m not here to get a winter suntan! The main aim of my trip is to interview and select someone for the role of Project Development Coordinator to be based in our Nairobi office.

Great Rift ValleyThis is an exciting position that places the lucky candidate at the nexus between operations in the UK and Kenya with the responsibility of managing staff across all our projects in the country. Having concluded the first round of interviews via Skype while in the UK, I spent the majority of my first week here conducting face-to-face interviews with the 6 shortlisted candidates. As was to be expected, the level of applicants was very high, each bringing their own unique combination of skills and experience. While a good problem to have, this makes selecting one over all the others a difficult choice to make!

Keep watching this space as we will unveil our new Project Development Coordinator in the coming weeks……….