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Kenya’s Mukuru Clean Stoves wins £1m at the second-annual Earthshot Prize awards

Kenya’s Mukuru Clean Stoves is among the five 2022 winners of the second-annual Earthshot Prize awards taking home £1 million prize after a nine-month search process, seeking out the most inspiring and innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet.

Mukuru Clean Stoves was among the over 1000 applications from around the world which were considered, with 15 finalists from 10 countries chosen through a selection process supported by an expert advisory panel.

According to Mukuru Clean Stoves Founder and CEO, Charlot Magayi, “It is a great honour to receive this recognition from the Earthshot Prize. In 2017, I set out to help women in Mukuru reduce household air pollution. 5 years later, 200,000 households in Kenya use our stoves and The Earthshot Prize is going to help us reach 1 million households, enabling 5 million people to benefit from cleaner air and putting us so much closer to achieving our goal of eradicating household air pollution.

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“To the Mukuru Clean Stoves team, for your dedication to providing access to better cooking technology and helping clean our air, congratulations! Let us work together to Clean Our Air.”

Each of the winners’ solutions excelled in the rigorous screening process following an assessment on their potential to create game-changing impact around the world, and their ability to help us reach our Earthshot goals while also positively impacting people, communities, and the natural world.

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Mukuru Clean Stoves, Kenya provides cleaner-burning stoves to women in Kenya to reduce unhealthy indoor pollution and provide a safer way to cook in Africa where 700 million people use solid fuel to cook on open fires and cookstoves that emit toxic chemicals and lack safeguards. As a result, accidents and air pollution kill four million people each year.

Mukuru Clean Stoves offer an alternative by using processed biomass made from charcoal, wood, and sugarcane, rather than dangerous solid fuels. This burns cleaner, creating 90% less pollution than an open fire and 70% less than a traditional cookstove. They are cheaper too, costing just USD10 and halving ongoing fuel costs.

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The female-founded business with mostly female staff and distribution agents, Mukuru is not only working to Clean our Air, but also empowering women to make a living by making a difference.

Other winners include India’s Kheyti reducing costs, increasing yields, and protect livelihoods of farmers in a country on the frontlines of climate change. Australia’s Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef– An inspiring women-led program that combines 60,000 years of indigenous knowledge with digital technologies to protect land and sea. UK’s Notpla, a circular solution creating an alternative to plastic packaging from seaweed. The London-based startup Notpla was founded by Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez has made over 1 million takeaway food boxes for JustEatTakeaway.com, with potential to replace over 100 million plastic coated containers in Europe in the future and last but not least 44.01, an Oman-based technique to turn CO2 into rock, and permanently store it underground. Named after the molecular weight of carbon dioxide, 44.01 eliminates CO2 by turning it into rock, removing it from the atmosphere safely, efficiently, and permanently by mineralizing it in peridotite, a rock found in abundance in Oman, United States, Europe, Asia, and Australasia.

The Earthshot Prize aims to discover and help scale innovative solutions that put the world firmly on a trajectory toward a stable climate by 2030 – a world in which communities, oceans and biodiversity can thrive in harmony. Each year over the course of this critical decade for the planet, five winners will be chosen for their ground-breaking solutions to five of the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet. These five Earthshots are: Protect and Restore Nature; Clean our Air; Revive our Oceans; Build a Waste-free World; and Fix our Climate.

Speaking during the ceremony, The Prince of Wales said: “I believe that the Earthshot solutions you have seen this evening prove we can overcome our planet’s greatest challenges. And by supporting and scaling them we can change our future.

Alongside tonight’s winners and finalists, and those to be discovered over the years to come, it’s my hope the Earthshot legacy will continue to grow, helping our communities and our planet to thrive.”

Earthshot is looking forward to nominations for next year’s 2023 Prize, which are open.

Founded by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in 2020, The Earthshot Prize is a global environmental prize to discover, accelerate and scale ground-breaking eco-solutions to repair and regenerate the planet. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot, which united millions of people around the goal of reaching the moon, The Earthshot Prize aims to catalyze an Earthshot challenge to urgently encourage and scale innovative solutions that can help put the world firmly on a trajectory towards a stable climate, where communities, oceans and biodiversity thrive in harmony by 2030. The five challenges are: Protect and Restore Nature; Clean our Air; Revive our Oceans; Build a Waste-free World; and Fix our Climate.

The Prize aims to turn the current pessimism surrounding environmental issues into optimism but championing inspiring leadership and helping to scale incredible cutting-edge solutions. It will discover 50 winners over 10 years with the power to repair the planet. More than a prize, The Earthshot Prize works in partnership with a Global Alliance of Partners to support the scaling of the solutions discovered and selected each year.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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