Nairobi — A Kenyan cooking range manufacturing firm, USAFI Inexperienced Vitality, is making waves with its progressive strategy to addressing cooking gas and environmental challenges inside refugee communities in Kenya.
The corporate’s groundbreaking efforts have earned them a nomination for the celebrated Ashden Award, recognizing their contributions to sustainable and clear vitality options.
USAFI Inexperienced Vitality started its mission to offer low-carbon and reasonably priced stoves to the Kakuma refugee camp in 2020. Due to a strategic partnership with BURN, one in every of Kenya’s largest cookstoves and briquette producers, USAFI has been nominated for the Ashden Award within the class of “Powering Refugees and Displaced Individuals.”
Dr. Stephen Corridor, Head of the Ashden Award, expressed enthusiasm concerning the vary of low-carbon options being honored, saying, “This 12 months now we have an unbelievable array of low-carbon options within the awards once more, together with one other clear prepare dinner range firm, USAFI Inexperienced Vitality, who’ve discovered a option to flip invasive crops into clear cooking fuels for refugee communities in Kenya.”
USAFI’s collaboration with BURN has propelled them to turn out to be the second-largest domestically produced cookstoves and briquette supplier in Kenya, following within the footsteps of BURN, which gained the Ashden award again in 2006 when King Charles served as its patron.
Brian Onyango, CEO of USAFI Inexperienced Vitality, attributed his firm’s success to the mentorship and steering of BURN’s CEO, Peter Scott. Onyango said, “Peter is my key function mannequin and mentor on clear cooking, and I benchmark from him. I do a variety of website visits on the BURN manufacturing unit to study extra and work collectively on our briquette checks and partnerships alongside the range’s provide.”
USAFI’s cooking stoves are designed to make use of clear briquettes made on the Kakuma camp. These distinctive briquettes are produced from compressed invasive plant species, primarily Prosopis, which have lengthy been a nuisance to native communities. Prosopis, an invasive tree species, causes a number of issues by dominating native vegetation, depleting water assets, injuring cattle with its sharp thorns, and producing toxic seed pods.
In a bid to fight the unfold of Prosopis, USAFI not solely makes use of the invasive plant for briquette manufacturing but additionally undertakes a sturdy tree-planting initiative. They’ve distributed over 2,000 tree seedlings to the area people, specializing in extra helpful species like Mwarubaini (neem). This twin strategy highlights USAFI’s dedication to ecological regeneration whereas offering a sustainable supply of gas.
USAFI’s efforts supply a cheap gas supply that eliminates well being dangers related to conventional cooking strategies. Moreover, they’ve performed a major function in job creation by straight using 35 people to fabricate stoves and interesting 90 others from the host group to provide briquettes. Importantly, 95% of the workforce is beneath 35 years previous, and 40% are girls, reflecting a dedication to gender variety and empowering the youth.
The Ashden Award, a worldwide recognition of low-carbon innovation, was established by Ashden, a UK-based charity centered on accelerating transformative local weather options in collaboration with the UK and world communities.
The Ashden Awards ceremony is scheduled to happen on November 14, 2023, in London and will likely be out there for on-line viewing. USAFI Inexperienced Vitality’s progressive strategy to tackling environmental and cooking gas challenges has not solely earned them a nomination but additionally serves as a beacon of hope for sustainable vitality options inside refugee communities.