Projekt

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    Up to now women spend an average of 15 hours per week collecting firewood in the nearby rain forest. Kakamega Rain Forest is the last pristine forest area in Kenya.

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    The wood is used in traditional open and very inefficient three stone fireplaces for cooking – the air is full of soot.

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    The new efficient Upesi stove saves 35-50 per cent firewood and additionally burns it more cleanly, resulting in less air pollution.

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    Despite having a protected status, Kakamega forest is severely damaged and degraded due to the pressure on its resources. The Kakamega Forest has lost almost 50 percent of its area since it was formally gazetted in 1933.

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    Susan Muyanzi is happy with the cook stove as she only has to go to the forest twice a week.

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    Local materials, such as clay from the area, are used for the production of these efficient stoves. The area where the clay is taken from gets reforested afterwards.

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    The clay and sand are mixed with water and molded by hand using simple metal molds to maintain consistency and quality control to produce the liner.

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    Mary Modani, mother of four kids, presides over a local potter group. She is holding a finished but not yet dried liner.

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    The soft clay liners are then baked in kilns for 8-10 hours. The Eco2Librium team monitors the quality and purchases the liners from potters like Mary Modani. The finished liner is then disseminated and installed permanently in households.

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    Jane Enos from Bukhaywa village purchased an efficient cook stove and is happy to see that Jeremiah Brany from Eco2librium is finalizing the formalities.

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    The Eco2Librium project team, from right: Dr. Anton Espira, (project lead), Christopher Amutabi (Monitoring); Silvia Mwangi (Accounting), Caleb Makalasia (Assistant Monitoring Coordinator, covered) , John Luseno (Quality Management), Telvin Chelimo (intern), Emily Mujinji (Community Womens Liaison), Jeremiah Brany (Operations Supervisor).

Locally produced efficient Upesi stoves reduce wood consumption in Kenya and help to preserve the unique vegetation and biodiversity of Kakamega rainforest. The stoves have a cleaner burning process and thus decrease indoor air pollution and associated acute respiratory infections in women and children. Moreover, savings in burning unsustainably harvested fuel wood cut down CO2 emissions.

38,000 efficient cook stoves installed
38,000
efficient cook stoves installed
10 stove production groups established
10
stove production groups established
660 ha of rainforest saved
660
ha of rainforest saved

The project plans to distribute 52,000 efficient cook stoves to rural households in communities adjacent to Kakamega Forest in Western Kenya throughout the project life of seven years. Kakamega rainforest is Kenya’s last remnant lowland indigenous forest and is home to an immense variety of unique and threatened animals and plants. The northern part is a protected area belonging to the Kakamega National Reserve. Despite having a protected status, Kakamega forest is severely damaged and degraded due to the pressure on its resources. The surrounding area is one of the densest populated rural regions of the world (> 500 inhabitant/km2) and 90 percent of the people depend on forest resources for fuel wood and livelihood. The Kakamega Forest has lost almost 50 percent of its area since it was formally gazetted in 1933. 

I am happy. Before I had the cook stove, I had to go to the forest every day, which is a 15-20km walk with all the heavy wood on my head. Now I only have to go to the forest twice a week.
Susan Muyanzi, 33 years, 2 children, Lusero, Kakamega, Kenya

Households in the project area use a traditional three-stone fireplace for cooking and women spend an average of 15 hours per week collecting fuel wood from Kakamega forest for home use. Poverty rate around Kakamega Forest is above 60 percent and unemployment above 25 percent. This calls for a simple, affordable and locally produced efficient stove technology to reduce wood consumption and preserve unique vegetation and biodiversity of Kakamega Forest. The project therefore identified the efficient Upesi cook stove as an appropriate technology for this region.

The Upesi stove is a natural ceramic stove and is 35-50 percent more efficient than the three-stone stove. It is manufactured and marketed at a subsidized price by local women’s and youth groups. The efficient stove is not a portable stove, but will be fix installed in households. This is more convenient for cooking since traditional dishes such as Ugali (made from maize flour) need to be stirred during preparation process. The project is developed and implemented by the US-Kenyan organisation Eco2librium.

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IMPACTS AND BENEFITS ACHIEVED SO FAR: 

  • Over 218,000 people benefit  from better air and from having to spend less time for collecting firewood.
  • Over 38,000 efficient cook stoves have been installed.
  • 10 stove production groups have been established.
  • 480 people (74% women) receive an income earning almost 4 times more than what they made prior to the project.
  • 97% of beneficiaries say that indoor air quality has improved.
  • Each stove avoids about 3.7 t CO2 and 2.1 tons wood per year.
  • The project saved so far over 230,000 tonnes of firewood equaling 660 ha of rainforest.
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