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GRASSROOTS WOMEN IN CLEAN ENERGY VALUE CHAINS

A recently developed study by the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute, indicates that awareness on clean energy benefits in selected areas of Kiambu County in Kenya is relatively low with only 39% citing importance of clean energy, citing negative likely impact of smoke like chest complication and eyes illness.

wPOWER Hub (Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables) is working to unlock this largely untapped potential of women and women’s groups to help fill the “last mile” gap in the supply chain to reach areas lacking energy access. This potential on women was enhanced through a three day community training on sustainable clean energy entrepreneurship that was conducted in Karura, Kiambu County. A total of 39 women and youth were equipped with skills and knowledge on clean energy to adopt, use and become entrepreneurs of clean technologies like briquettes, solar lighting and clean cook stoves.

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wPOWER Hub training group in Karura, Kiambu County

In Kenya, indoor air pollution attributes to more than 14,000 deaths annually from inefficient burning of biomass for cooking energy and lighting solutions. wPOWER Hub aims to train more than 950 women and youth in 19 regions in Kenya on sustainable clean energy entrepreneurship by 2017.

wPOWER HubGRASSROOTS WOMEN IN CLEAN ENERGY VALUE CHAINS
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Empowering Women through Clean Cooking and lighting Technology and Entrepreneurship

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September 28, 2015

NAIROBI –In efforts to promote the role of women in clean energy solutions to climate change, wPOWER Hub of the University of Nairobi, on Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 organized a three day community training in Maragua, Central Kenya, to showcase how clean cooking and lighting technologies play important roles in unleashing the potential of women for a better future.

The aim of the event was to raise awareness among the community, that access to clean cooking and lighting solutions and environmental stewardship are critical drivers to gender equality. It also provided opportunity for all participants to learn something new, to make new partnerships and to inform the wPOWER Hub work to ensure the empowering effect of clean energy, technology and entrepreneurship –on women in the community.

According to a baseline survey conducted by the wPOWER Hub in the region’s six villages Mung’etho,Kiyo,Gituamba,Kamuiru,Matamya and Ngainye, 85% of the community members use fuel wood, with charcoal taking 9% and kerosene taking 1%.

While addressing the audience, Prof.Kiama Gitahi, wPOWER Hub Academic Director said “The problems that face the world today cannot be solved without the full participation of women and only when women make progress does their community make progress too”.

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Prof.Kiama Gitahi addressing participants

The training themed “Sustainable Clean energy entrepreneurship” had lead facilitators from wPOWER Hub Partners Care and the Green Belt Movement. Through presentation of success stories, the training encouraged, engaged and interacted with grassroots women.More than 50 women were trained in the process.

Lack of access to energy, be it for cooking or for lighting, and resulting energy poverty are issues that need to be tackled today, and women are ready to play their part as innovators, entrepreneurs, policy makers and consumers!

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wPOWER HubEmpowering Women through Clean Cooking and lighting Technology and Entrepreneurship
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A KENYAN ENTREPRENUER’S DREAM THAT ENSURES,COOKING DOES NOT KILL

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Charity Njeri Gachanja, is living her dream of contributing to environmental conservation and women’s health in central Kenya and beyond, through the provision of clean, and affordable energy saving jikos.
She was motivated by her mother, who tirelessly worked with Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai at the Green Belt Movement, to plant trees and educate women on the importance of conserving their environment. Her mother also made cooking pots out of clay, and this is where she got her inspiration, diversifying to cookstove liners.

According to a baseline study done in Kahuro, by the wPOWER Hub, more than 50%of the population,uses fuel wood as the main source of energy for cooking, while 32%use kerosene.Only 22% are using energy saving jikos.

“Our women need to be told the importance of clean cookstoves, that it benefits both the environment and themselves, I have literally moved from nothing to something, thanks to my jiko business’’ said Charity who grew up in Kiria, Muranga County. Charity started her entrepreneurial journey from an empowerment training seminar similar to the ongoing wPOWER Hub community trainings on sustainable clean energy.

She started by distributing two liners to each village in her community, at no cost.
Today, Charity sells 1,000 liners monthly out of which she reports making more than $800.”I discovered that it was a lucrative venture and I’ve never looked back,” she said

wPOWER HubA KENYAN ENTREPRENUER’S DREAM THAT ENSURES,COOKING DOES NOT KILL
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TRAINING WOMEN ON SUSTAINABLE CLEAN ENERGY ENTREPRENUERSHIP IN HOMABAY COUNTY

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55 participants, mostly women drawn from different women groups in Homabay County, have undergone a three-day intensive training exercise on Sustainable clean energy entrepreneurship, at Karachuonyo constituency,Homabay County.

The community training, organised by the wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute was meant to help capacitate grass-root women on their roles and responsibilities in securing a good future for themselves and their communities, through the adoption and use of clean cooking and lighting technologies. wPOWER Hub has conducted similar trainings in two other locations; Othaya County and Muranga County. Both trainings have seen a total of 101 participants trained.

 

wPOWER HubTRAINING WOMEN ON SUSTAINABLE CLEAN ENERGY ENTREPRENUERSHIP IN HOMABAY COUNTY
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