The Maasai people inhabit an area spanning much of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Despite pressure from governments to abandon their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, the Maasai people have maintained age-old customs that preserve their unique culture. Yet, the traditional Maasai method of cooking over an open wood fire is time-consuming, encourages deforestation, and produces significant amounts of indoor smoke exposing women and children to severe respiratory health hazards.
This project has distributed over 5,500 efficient cookstoves to-date, to replace open fires. The cookstoves reflect traditional woodfire methods, but require 66% less firewood and reduce smoke emissions considerably, improving overall community health. By reducing emissions and slowing deforestation, the project reduces approximately 14,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. By using the cookstoves, the Maasai people reduce the amount of smoke produced by indoor cooking, limiting their exposure to dangerous pollutants that cause respiratory diseases. Women and children also spend less time collecting firewood and instead focus on earning an income or attending school. Meanwhile, demand for firewood is alleviated from the Mau Forest the largest native montane forest in East Africa.
We chose this project because apart from actively reducing GHG emissions, this project has major social benefits to it. The traditional cooking method on open fires is not only inefficient, time-consuming and destructive to the Mau Forest, but also exposes women and children to severe health hazards.
"I treat 7-10 people per day, and most illnesses i see are chest complaints. The cause of these is due to the houses being badly ventilated and full of smoke."
- Josephine Simita Pere (Nurse at the local dispensary)
More than 5000 families in Kenya have now access to an efficient cookstove, preventing health issues due to the elimination of indoor smoke. The local communities, especially women and children, also have more time for other activities than collecting firewood from the Mau forest. Both economic and health benefits rely on the same mechanism as reduced GHG emissions: using less fuel. Therefore, if stoves are effective in reducing households’ use of fuels, they are likely to come with co-benefits as well as reduced GHG emissions.
This project is verified by Gold Standard. Gold Standard for the Global Goals is a next-generation standard designed to accelerate progress toward climate security and sustainable development. This standard enables initiatives to quantify, certify and maximize their impacts toward the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, with enhanced safeguards, holistic project design, management of trade-offs and local stakeholder engagement ensuring the highest levels of environmental and social integrity.