Climate-friendly cooking in Kenya
For people and the environment: cooking on modern stoves instead of traditional open fires reduces greenhouse gas emissions and creates new jobs.
Biomass such as firewood, charcoal, or plant residues is the main source of energy in Kenya and mostly used for traditional open fire cooking practices. However, traditional stoves are inefficient in that some 90 per cent of the energy produced literally goes up in smoke, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and driving a huge demand for firewood that is fuelling large-scale deforestation.
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been supporting Kenya’s transition to modern cooking stoves since 2006. Thus, GIZ is helping the country realise the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) for the energy sector. In 2020, further funding was rolled out successfully by the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MoEP). The upshot: around 1.5 million people now have access to more efficient cooking stoves. Half a million tonnes of firewood and more than 972,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents have been saved.
Raising production, creating jobs
Kenya’s demand for sustainable cooking stoves is continuing to grow, leading to stronger calls for more professional and effective production. For this reason, GIZ is supporting local producers with tools and machines. It also provides technical courses and training, for example in the fields of business development, financing and marketing. Samwel Mutharia, who has a small family-run business and has been working with GIZ for many years, says, ‘I’ve been able to improve my production processes and the quality of my products, grow my customer base and also create new jobs.’
Other local firms have also taken steps to make production more professional. In the meantime, their concerted actions have led to the creation of more than 1,000 new jobs in Kenya. Explaining that businesses not only have an economic mindset, but an environmental outlook too, Mutharia says, ‘I’m now much more aware of the impacts my business has on the environment – and how I can help protect it.’