Traditionally the rural communities of the Siaya region of western Kenya have cooked on open fires, which require huge amounts of firewood. Thanks to community savings and loaning (CSL) groups, however, women can now afford more efficient stoves. This reduces the demand for firewood and thus protects the local forests, which leads to reduced CO2 emissions. Furthermore the CSL groups lead to a financial and social empowerment of women.
The stoves use 40-50 per cent less firewood and are made by local stove artisans using locally available materials. They save households money and the time required for collecting firewood. In addition, the superior, more efficient combustion process significantly improves the air quality within the home, thus helping to reduce respiratory disorders specially of women and children.
In Siaya County 97.5 per cent of households use wood fuels and only 0.1 per cent use electricity for cooking.
myclimate works closely with the local Kenyan Tembea Youth Center for Sustainable Development, which sets up and manages the CSL groups. Over time, CSL groups mature and are graduated to semi-autonomous operating entities across the project region. They conglomerate into women-led “financial institutions” with power to influence decision-making, shape leadership and inform policy at project level and beyond. The methodology of community savings and loaning has leadership components especially for women, as there is always a chair person, a secretary and a treasurer, which are mostly female.
As an artisane it's first time for me to earn money.
Jenevive Mary Arkid, Ugunja district
Thanks to this secure method of financing, women can afford a stove, and often have money to spare for such things as healthcare, insurance, school fees or high-quality seeds. On average, fifteen women meet between two and four times a month. The myclimate project partner Tembea subsidises half of the stove price, whilst an interest-free loan is granted for the remaining 1,000 shillings. The women must pay back this loan within two years at the latest.
The myclimate compensation payments also flow through Tembea into educating local stove artisans in the production and installation of the efficient stoves, training households to use and maintain them correctly, and into campaigns to raise awareness among the population regarding the subjects of renewable energies and energy-efficiency.
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IMPACTS AND BENEFITS ACHIEVED: