Home NEWS Features Transforming Lives: Launch of Kenya’s first-ever clean cooking energy hub

Transforming Lives: Launch of Kenya’s first-ever clean cooking energy hub

CCAK Program Manager, Simon Kiragu, Officially Hands Over Clean Cooking Solutions to Dr. Rose Mkalama, CEO of REREC. Photo/Courtesy

On March 21, 2024, on the International Day of Forests, a remarkable event unfolded in the heart of Nairobi, heralding a transformative development for the surrounding community. It was the inauguration of a Clean Cooking Hub, a collaborative effort between the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK) and the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC).

The initiative marked a pivotal step towards sustainable forestry and natural resource management in Kenya, with a particular focus on advocating for clean cooking practices to enhance environmental, social, and economic well-being.

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The establishment of the Clean Cooking Energy Hub at the Jamhuri Energy Center in Nairobi signifies a significant milestone in promoting clean cooking solutions nationwide. As a public technical training and demonstration center, the hub serves as a comprehensive platform for raising awareness and educating communities on sustainable cooking technologies and fuels. Through interactive displays and workshops, individuals, women’s groups, businesses, and NGOs have the opportunity to learn about a range of affordable, locally-produced and imported clean cooking technologies, including efficient charcoal and wood cookstoves, LPG stoves, bioethanol stoves, fireless cookers, electric cooking appliances, and biogas systems.

Beyond mere demonstration, the hub is poised to offer extensive training programs to build expertise in manufacturing, maintenance, and utilization of clean cooking solutions. By fostering widespread adoption of clean cooking practices, the center aims to address pressing issues such as climate change, public health, environmental sustainability, women’s empowerment, and overall quality of life across Kenyan communities.

The objectives of the Clean Cooking Energy Hub align with several key aims, including:

  • Showcasing various types of clean cookstoves and fuels.
  • Conducting awareness campaigns and events to highlight the health, environmental, and socio-economic benefits of transitioning to clean cooking solutions.
  • Establishing the hub as a recognized regional demonstration and knowledge center for clean cooking.
  • Educating the public about the socio-economic, environmental, and health advantages of clean cooking.
  • Enhancing the harmonization, reliability, and utilization of high-quality agricultural, forestry, and other land-use practices.

This endeavor was made possible through the “Accelerating Clean Cooking Action” in Kenya project, which has been underway for the past nine months. This project aimed to overcome systemic barriers hindering sustainable tree growth and mitigate ecosystem and land degradation by promoting clean cooking adoption in urban and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) areas of Kenya.

Funded by the Government of Japan through the UNDP, the project entrusted CCAK with the task of capacity-building 500 women and youth from five different counties: Laikipia, Machakos, Kajiado, Nairobi, and Tana River. Surpassing this target, we successfully trained 556 individuals, with 106 hailing from Laikipia, 155 from Nairobi, 59 from Machakos, 108 from Tana River, and 128 from Kajiado. This capacity-building initiative not only facilitated the establishment of the Clean Cooking Energy Hub but also holds promise for fostering lasting sustainability throughout Kenya.

The ACCA initiative is poised to accelerate Kenya’s goal of achieving 100% clean cooking by 2028, directly benefiting approximately 100,000 individuals and indirectly impacting 2,000,000 men, women, and youth. This commitment aligns with Kenya’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of 2020, which aims to reduce emissions by 32% by 2030. Moreover, the ACCA project plays a vital role in mitigating the impacts of the triple planetary crises, particularly in ASAL and peri-urban areas facing severe drought.

In conclusion, the successful launch of the Clean Cooking Energy Hub not only achieved its intended objective of outliving the ACCA pieces of training and awareness raising but also fostered a robust partnership between CCAK, REREC, the Ministry of Energy & Petroleum, County governments, and the community at large. This collaboration underscores a collective commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainable development, and improved livelihoods for all Kenyans.

“Clean Cooking is not only about the meals we prepare; it is about the future we nourish, the forests we protect, and the communities we empower.” – Simon Kiragu, Program Manager, CCAK

KBC Correspondent
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