I was recently in Kenya to film two short profiles of the winners of the prestigious Ashen Awards.
“BURN Manufacturing is helping improve the lives of women and girls in East Africa with its efficient charcoal-burning Jikokoa™ stove and opportunities for women to participate in its workforce. The stove itself represents a step-change in the design and efficiency of charcoal-burning cookstoves. As well as being an aspirational household product, it cuts down on smoke and soot by more than 60% compared to the widely used Kenya ceramic jiko. But it’s not just women using the stoves who benefit. With all manufacture now done in a new state-of-the-art factory in Kenya, BURN emphasises that all jobs are open to both men and women at all levels – just over half of its workforce are women.”
“Lake Victoria’s fishing villages and other rural communities in Kenya are benefiting from clean light and power for the first time, thanks to renewable energy micro-grids. Using the natural energy of the sun, they work like mini power stations for each village, supplying enough energy to run small businesses, as well as power TVs, radios and bright lights in the home. Solar power in East Africa is not new, but what’s exciting about SteamaCo is the technology behind it: the micro-grids use an innovative cloud-based remote metering and payments system that monitors energy use, lets people pay for power using their mobile phones, and quickly troubleshoots any problems. With around 80% of Kenyans lacking access to mains electricity, SteamaCo is helping to bring the benefits of clean energy to increasing numbers of off-grid customers.”