Ecofinder Kenya in collaboration with its partners; Small Solutions-Germany and Paradigm Kenya are reaching out to the rural and Peri -urban areas of East Africa to provide affordable access to clean and safe energy for cooking, lighting and mobile charging. Ecofinder Kenya reaches out to the wetland and island villages along Lake Victoria including; Dunga, Yala, Kusa and Koguta and Mageta Island. The traditional energy sources used by these communities for lighting and cooking are characterized by the inefficient and dirty consumption of large amounts of biomass fuels such as fuel wood, dung and kerosene oil. These results into numerous detrimental effects including environmental degradation, open fire accidents, and respiratory diseases predominantly among women and children. The World Health Organization estimates that indoor air pollution is responsible for over 1.6. million premature deaths a year due to respiratory diseases.
According to the World Bank statistics, there are an estimated 1.6 billion individuals in the world without access to modern energy services including electricity. In rural and Peri-urban areas of East Africa, approximately 80% of the population or 18.8 million households earning less than $3 per day spend up to 50% of their monthly income on traditional energy sources and energy related services for basic household lighting and cooking needs.
Thus the partnership promotes simple energy technologies which involves the sun king and Sun King Pro solar lanterns for lighting and mobile charging , floating and the fixed dome biogas providing clean energy for cooking and lighting and energy saving stoves for cooking which uses less firewood with up to 60% reduced smoke. The program involves the local entrepreneurs, women groups, youth groups and village councils and Green energy entrepreneurs and offers capacity building trainings on business development activities and sensitization on renewable energy for environmental sustainability.
Plans are underway to establish Green Energy Kiosks at every village to act as a hub for local supply through rent-to-own model and also for finding other related energy information. In addition, research is still being carried out on the possibility of inventing solar lanterns with appropriate amount of light intensity needed for night fishing so as to discourage the use of pressure lamps using large amounts of kerosene by the fisherman around Lake Victoria.
Wetland Conservation and Food Security
Lake Victoria wetland and island communities face food insecurity and poor accessibility to water and sanitation services. This intervention aims to enable food security and accessibility to water and sanitation to poorest of the poor.
The Project Goal
- To promote conservation of Lake Victoria papyrus wetlands and islands through sustainable accessibility to food, water and sanitation.
The Project Specific Objectives
- To facilitate sustainable food production through productive ecological sanitation among Lake Victoria Wetland and Island Communities.
- To improve community sanitation through productive ecological sanitation.
- To improve accessibility to water for household use and production through appropriate water harvesting and treatment technologies.
- To advocate for Lake Victoria Wetlands and Island Conservation through sustainable land-use practices
- Training on modern farming techniques.
- Facilitation of Appropriate Water Harvesting and Irrigation Technologies.
- Construction of Ecosan or Compost Toilet for Organic Fertilizers and Sanitation.
- Protection of Village Water Springs.
- Running of Village Agroforestry Learning and Resource Centre (VALREC) for Promotion of Best Agroforestry Practices
Kakola Village of Lower Nyando River
Ecofinder Kenya has partnered with Prof Nicholas Oguge of Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP), University of Nairobi to undertake research on “Adaptation to Climate Change through Disaster Risk Reduction in Nyando Basin, Kenya“. Leonard O. Akwany, who is the research field coordinator, stated that the partnership is imperative for it provides a platform for the University to apply its expertise in working with a grass-root organization thereby gathering demand-driven information on climate change and ensuring follow-up on results through the local Organization, Ecofinder Kenya. The participatory research will involve three villages along Nyando River; Kakola, Wangowe and Muhoroni Villages.
The specific objectives of the research include:
- To map the institutional and legal framework, policies and mechanisms already in place for reducing disaster risks and dealing with climate change adaptation in Nyando Basin.
- To determine the available information and community awareness on hazards exposure, vulnerabilities and risks to climate and disasters.
- To undertake community awareness and education as appropriate.
- To develop a policy paper that addresses both climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction for Nyando Basin.
The anticipated outcomes are:
- Disaster risk reduction mainstreamed as a priority in local development agenda
- Procedures for identifying, assessing, monitoring disaster risks and enhancing early warning developed
- Procedures for using knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture of safety and resilience developed
Ecofinder Kenya (www.ecofinderkenya.org) in collaboration with Dunga Beach Management Unit (BMU), Dunga Ecotourism and Environmental Youth Group (DECTA), Lake Victoria Wetland Forum (LVWEF), Lake Victoria Tour Guides Association (LVTOGA) and Lake Victoria Birders Organization(LVBO) has established Dunga Wetland Pedagogical Centre at Dunga Beach, Kisumu, Kenya. Dunga Beach and by extension Dunga Wetland is known for its unique eco-cultural attractions due to its biodiversity and cultural rich and diverse papyrus wetland ecosystem and local community respectively. Moreover, Dunga beach is classified as sample Beach by fisheries department for it epitomizes holistic fish landing beach operations for visitors interested in learning or observing characteristic fish landing beach operations.
The Dunga Wetland Pedagogical Centre initiative is a grass-root led intervention whose overarching cardinal goal is empowerment of Dunga Wetland Community through training and capacity building for the conservation of degraded Dunga Wetland and improvement of livelihood security of its people. Therefore, the centre will promote the following thematic interventions:
a) Promotion of Eco-Cultural Tourism.
b) Facilitation of Dunga Papyrus Wetland Ecosystem Conservation.
c) Enabling uptake of Green Energy and other appropriate Technologies.
d) Enabling grass-root Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation.
e) Enabling of Dunga Beach Digital Village for E-Services and Training.
f) Promotion of Healthy Dunga Wetland Community.
g) Promotion of Water and Sanitation Accessibility.
h) Promotion of Local Peace, Leadership and Good Governance.
The aforementioned is under the overall theme of “environmental entrepreneurship for sustainable communities”.