Samsung Electronics has launched its second phase of the Ethanol Stove Project in Kakuma Refugee Camp as part of its plans to further decrease emission of carbon dioxide in the country by over 500,000 tonnes in the next five years.
The electronics maker corporate citizenship program to enhance a safe environment will see refugees benefit from a subsidy of 12,000 eco-friendly ethanol stoves that will be sold at Kakuma refugee camp at Ksh 1995 down from Ksh 4,000 per stove. The camp, located in Turkana County, is one of the largest camps in the country with a population of over 200,000 people who have been driven there by conflict and violence from different countries such as South Sudan and Somalia.
The stoves also known as “safi cookers” use ethanol instead of charcoal, enabling households to benefit from an eco-friendly environment with less smoke, while reducing their cooking fuel costs and cooking time.
The project, initially launched in Mombasa County late last year, is aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular Goal 7, which is aimed at creating affordable and clean energy by 2030 while reducing the demand for charcoal in the country.
While briefing stakeholders drawn from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Norwegian embassy, Friends of Karura and other representatives Samsung Electronics East Africa Head of Corporate Marketing, Patricia King’ori called for an urgent need to create a healthy environment for future generations through projects that significantly address the rate of deforestation and carbon emissions.
It is estimated that about 80% of Kenyans who live in urban areas use charcoal for cooking. About 10kg of wood is used to make just 1kg of charcoal putting a lot of strain on the country’s forests.
“Deforestation is our major crisis – for example in 2015 it was estimated that Kenya was losing a shocking 5.6 million trees daily. This is a problem that affects the entire African continent, with the Green Africa foundation revealing that the rate of annual deforestation in Africa exceeds the global annual average of 0.8%”, Ms Kingori warned.
Havard Norstebo, the General Manager for Green Development, a Norwegian based Carbon credit program organization that promotes use of Ethanol stoves, on his part said local partners will be involved to ensure the project is implemented successfully at the camp. He said the first line project implementation partner will be Rural Development Solutions who will be responsible for setting up of a warehouse and bottling plant in Kakuma to ensure that stoves and fuel is available at all time for residents.
“Distribution from the warehouse and bottling plant to kiosks and directly to household in the refugee camps will be done through local partners and other organizations such as Norwegian Refugee Councel and UNHCR who already have ongoing projects at the camp”, Norstebo added.
He said his organization will be responsible for quality assurance processes, and for all aspects of the carbon credit processes to enhance environmental conservation.