Alliance Supporters and Thought-Leaders Get an In-depth Look at the Kenyan Clean Cooking Sector
Among the multitude of Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (Alliance) activities in Kenya earlier this month, the Alliance hosted a group of key bilateral, philanthropic, and corporate supporters and thought-leaders to view firsthand the successes and challenges of the clean cooking sector in Kenya.
Over the course of the week-long trip, participants learned about the array of Alliance programs and partner activities throughout Kenya. During a visit to households in Kayole, an urban Nairobi slum, participants met women who traditionally cook their daily meals over open fires, but have begun purchasing and selling improved cookstoves as the result of a partnership between the Alliance, a local community development organization, a cookstove manufacturer, and a leading research university.
As an important hub for clean cookstove manufacturing in East Africa, visitors had a chance to see firsthand both local factories producing versions of the Kenya ceramic jiko stove, as well as the mechanized assembly of wood and charcoal burning cookstoves with components produced both in Kenya and abroad. The national distribution and sale of clean cookstoves is a key challenge in Kenya, and the group met with a leading distributor and Spark Fund award recipient to hear directly from their female sales agent regarding her experiences.
In addition to networking with local partners at the Country Action Plan conference and cookstoves exhibition, guests journeyed outside Nairobi to Maragwa to understand the rural context, met with financial institutions developing mechanisms to help consumers afford and access clean cookstoves in the market, and explored a family farm using biogas as an alternative fuel.
Leading Kenyan policymakers and thought-leaders also shared their insights and involvement in the clean cooking sector with our guests, including Second Lady Rachel Ruto, Wanjira Mathai of the Greenbelt Movement, the Governor of Laikipia County, member of parliament Joyce Emanikor of Turkana County, and the Secretariat of the Clean Cookstoves Association of Kenya, among others.
By the end of the week, the group came away with a better understanding of the significant health, environment, economic, and gender impacts from the use of solid fuels for cooking, the Kenyan political landscape, and the wide range of Alliance programs in Kenya. These impassioned advocates will assist the Alliance in raising awareness of the issue of household air pollution and leveraging support for clean cooking technologies in the future. You can see photos of UN Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin’s experiences on the trip or read twitter coverage by Sally Lee, Editor in Chief of Ladies Home Journal.
The Alliance will be holding a similar observation and learning trip in Ghana for supporters and thought-leaders in early April. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Photo credit: Alex Kamweru for UN Foundation