Sustainable social enterprise in Butula, Kenya
RAN (the Rural AIDS Network) is initiating a project called The Clean Cooker Stove Technology Project, to enable the women and youth of the Butula district in western Kenya to develop sustainable social enterprises that will create employment, a substantial cash flow and reduce the present state of poverty and curtail further harsh climate change related pressures. Butula district is situated within the Lake Victoria basin, which is one of the most densely populated regions in Kenya and East Africa; poverty levels and HIV/AIDS prevalence are very high. Communities living there are especially vulnerable to climate change impacts on water resources (floods and droughts).Clean cooker stoves production is a good strategy to bring income and food security to communities whilst reducing pressure on local forests.
This project is targeting mostly rural women because women here are responsible for preparing food. There is much emphasis on the need for clean-burning fuels that are affordable and convenient to obtain. In places where it was once relatively easy to get firewood or charcoal, traditional fuel sources are now scarce due to environmental degradation, and women would particularly benefit from increased availability of improved technology such as clean cooker stoves using fuels that can be produced locally from soil, crops and agricultural residues available in rural areas. Improved stove technologies, with better efficiency and ventilation, can also help reduce the dependency on traditional fuels such as wood and kerosene and the accompanying air pollution. As many of the women’s business activities also involve cooking or heat processing, better cooker stoves can also advance women’s economic opportunities.
RAN is to facilitate capacity building through training rural women and youth in clean cooker stove technology construction, marketing, management, and leadership skills.