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Saving Trees, Making Cooking Healthier for 1,000 Women and their Families

September 06, 2017

In the past few months, our Community Development Team has distributed energy-saving cooking stoves to 1,000 women from neighbouring communities. 

90% of Kenyan rural households use biomass fuel such as firewood and charcoal for cooking, a prime cause of deforestation and environmental degradation. Additionally, the health implications of using open fires for cooking are severe; the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that this causes 1.6 million deaths each year across the globe.

“At our clinics, we frequently receive patients suffering from allergen diseases that result from smoke inhalation; reactive airway disease, allergic conjuctivitis and even reactivated asthma inhalation. Women, who do most of the cooking for their families are highly vulnerable, as well as young children who spend the majority of their time next to their mothers,” explains Ezekiel Karino, Lewa’s Healthcare Administrator.

This continued reliance on firewood and biomass fuel has had detrimental effects on biodiversity in ecosystems across the continent. Forest cover continues to be lost, and sustainable solutions are necessary to prevent further devastation.

Within our larger landscape, beyond Lewa-Borana’s borders, lie Ngare Ndare and Mukogodo forests. The people of Ngare Ndare and Mukogodo have taken lead in protecting these forests, as they have for generations, but the challenge of losing trees for firewood and charcoal continues.

“By providing efficient cooking stoves, we are helping reduce household air pollution and improve the health of our neighbours. This is also a direct initiative on our part to slow down deforestation as we continue to support ongoing forest conservation programmes,” says John Kinoti, Lewa’s Community Development Manager.

The use of the stoves reduces the demand for firewood, promotes the protection of forests and leads to a reduction of smoke and toxic emissions.

The stove donations were made possible through the kind support of Mishcon de Reya.