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!
On the 16th of September another successful Local Stakeholder Consultation took place in Gashora, Rwanda which marked the launch of a new cookstove projects in Bugasera sector. The projects will be implemented in the frame of a partnership between co2balance UK Ltd and Climate Corporation Emissions Trading GmbH, while the field activities will be facilitated by our in-country partner FAPDR with whom we have successfully worked together in previous projects. The stakeholder consultation started at 10:00am and was attended by a high number of participants from six sectors of the district as well as by the representatives ofClimate Corporation Emissions Trading GmbH and co2balance UK Ltd. FAPDR took an active role in the moderation of the meeting which was held both in Kinyarwandan and English. After answering the questions from participants, the meeting was concluded with stove demonstration and the closing ceremony, following Gold Standard guidance. Please see some pictures of the meeting below and stay tuned for updates about this new project.
After the successful rehabilitation of more than 60 boreholes in Gatsibo district in Rwanda, co2balance is exploring the opportunities to further expand its operation in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. As a part of this process, we have invited people to the local stakeholder consultation which will take place at 10 am on the 16th of September at the Head Office of Kayonza District. The stakeholder meeting will be facilitated by our in-country partners FAPDR and Rwandans4Water and will be attended, among other, by representatives from both Co2balance and Climate Corporation Emissions Trading GmbH. We welcome anyone interested in our clean-water projects and hope to see many local and international stakeholders next Wednesday.
Concern Universal, our in-country partner for the borehole-rehabilitation project in Bangladesh has confirmed that the local stakeholder meeting held on the 11th of May in the Rangamati was successful and highly appreciated by the local community. We thank Concern Universal Bangladesh for all their effort in organizing the meeting and we are looking forward to progressing with the project – taking into account now the suggestions we received from the stakeholders last Sunday. To hear about the latest development with our clean water project in the Chittagong Hills, please stay tuned to our blog.
According to the Bangladesh WASH Alliance, a staggering 60% of the Bangladeshi population has to endure unsafe drinking water sources. The contaminated drinking water is an urgent and growing health problem in the country where combined with poor sanitation it is the leading cause of diarrhoea and is responsible for one third of the total child deaths. To be able to deliver clean water technologies, CO2balance will work with its in-country partner Concern Universal Bangladesh and community groups in the Chittagong Hills to identify broken down boreholes and renovate them so that they provide clean, safe water. CO2balance will ensure that the quality of the water delivered by the boreholes is fit for human consumption for the entire length of the project, which will be a minimum seven years.
This new project is going to take place in the Chittagong Hills which comprises an area of 13,295 square kilometres in south-eastern Bangladesh and borders India and Myanmar. This very hilly area of Bangladesh is one of the few remaining abode of Buddhism in South Asia, where the culture, language and physical appearance of the local tribal population also differ markedly from the Bengali majority of Bangladesh. Like other mountainous areas in South and Southeast Asia, the Chittagong Hills is also undergoing deforestation and land degradation arising from environmentally unsuitable activities such as tobacco cultivation in sloping land, shifting cultivation and logging. The borehole project also aims to address these challenges by providing access to safe water supply so local people do not need to burn significant amount of biomass to treat their water for drinking, cleaning or washing.
CO2balance and Concern Universal Bangladesh is currently organizing a stakeholder meeting which will mark the starting point for this borehole rehabilitation and maintenance project. The launching workshop will take place at 10.30 am on the 11th of May, in the Panchhari Dayamoy G. Primary School, Rangamati. We cordially invite all our international and local stakeholders to attend the meeting, as your knowledge and input will be of value at this event, helping us to design a project with maximum positive impact for local people.
In the past months CO2balance has been working in partnership with CarbonSink Srl on rolling out an improved charcoal cookstove project in Maputo, Mozambique. CO2balance is going to include this new project in its Gold Standard Improved Kitchen Regimes Multi-Country PoA and as part of the roll-out process, two stakeholder meetings were held in the project area on 24th and on 27th of January 2014. The two meetings were attended all together by 311 people, with a good representation from different stakeholders, including local authorities, community leaders, NGOs and future beneficiaries of the stove. The meeting has been very successful and participants (of which 65% were women) warmly welcomed the initiative therefore the stove distribution can start as soon as this week by the local NGO partner.
Due to the expertise that co2balance has in developing carbon projects it has partnered with World Vision to develop a clean cook stove project in two Counties in Kenya. As a result on 4th and 5th of March 2014 co2balance team together with the World Vision managed to successfully carry out three local stakeholder meetings in Wema – Nakuru County and Mogotio – Baringo County respectively. The meetings were very crucial as they provided vital feedback from all stakeholders who attended the meetings. More importantly the meetings provided feedback from community members who will be the users of the stoves. Through the meetings much was gathered in relation to the needs of the community in this project that will provide good guidance in rolling out the project.
During the meetings it was our pleasure on our part (co2balance represented by Lloyd and Moses) as carbon experts explaining in the simplest way to the communities about carbon credits, carbon market and carbon finance issues that seemed to amaze them very much. Most of the community members were passionate and we look forward to a successful engagement as a result. This is justified by the fact that many of the stoves that were brought on-site for viewing by a local producer called SCODE were bought by stakeholders in attendance even to the surprise of the seller.
Managing to have government ministries, County government representation and NEMA in the meetings was a great achievement for us as it clearly indicates the kind of support we together with World Vision have from the government. Most importantly was seeing various government officials and NEMA officers in attendance fully endorse the project as they urged the local communities to take advantage of the opportunity.
Listening to the local communities share their sad stories on how their smoked kitchens have negatively affected them and their children moved hearts of many thus confirming the fact that this clean cook stove project could not have come at a better time. Many also narrated stories regarding difficulties they undergo to get these vital pieces of wood; firewood and dear costs and time consumed in search of firewood. Despite all these, we gave them hope in our solution that using clean and energy efficient cook stoves would provide a solution to their current menace.
The meetings went well; however to make the process adequately participatory and following Gold Standard requirements we still continue to collect more views from stakeholders through the contacts provided to the stakeholders. At the end of it all, community stakeholders were happy, government officials were happy, world vision were happy, as co2balance representatives we were happy thus with confidence we can say the three LSC meetings were a success and the battle against climate change continues!