Social enterprise empowers women refugees to master efficient cooking and solar technologies

Description of the project: SAFEnergy Enterprises Uganda, a social enterprise, empowers refugee and HIV positive women with technical skills on energy efficient cooking technologies and entrepreneurship. 47 group leaders in refugee settlements have been trained to construct Rocket Lorena and shielded cooking stoves and to create their own small businesses. They have transferred their knowledge to 500 more women in the Arua camp and Karamoja host community. The 47 women led registered enterprises also market certified solar lamps to ensure sustainable income. Acquired leadership and managerial skills, as well financial autonomy, help resolve household conflicts over resources, improve women’s roles in decision making and reduce domestic violence.

Climate impact: Rocket Lorena stoves reduce fuel-wood consumption by 50-70%. Solar lamps and solar home systems replace diesel or kerosene. This saves CO2 emissions and prevents deforestation. Up to 1200 ha could be protected in the target areas. The technologies also reduce indoor pollution by 98%, an important health benefit for targeted local nurseries and schools. Construction is done with locally sourced materials that have a lower climate footprint and lower costs.

Gender impact: This project promotes gender equality and women’s rights through economic empowerment. Additional and stabilised income enables women to access health care services, immediate family needs and sometimes land property. Trainings integrate modules on rights and leadership. This results in women demanding more equitable resource sharing in the household and community and gives them the ability to resolve conflicts peacefully and avoid gender-based violence.

Scalability / replicability: This project is based on the use of widely spread, certified low-tech solutions that are easily replicable and can be applied anywhere with locally available materials. The entrepreneurship model is made accessible to very poor rural women as it does not require capital and ensures regular income from the sales of affordable, cost saving energy solutions. The women leaders groups ensure scalabilty and sustainability.

Organization:
Body:
Resource:
Language:
Tags:

Producing local sustainable energy and enhancing inclusive business activities

Description of the project: WECF and local partners facilitate technical trainings to integrate renewable energy solutions, such as briquette production, solar pumps, photovoltaic and biogas digesters, into the activities of agricultural cooperatives. Benefiting from improved, sustainable processing of agricultural products and diversified activities, cooperatives generate more jobs and higher incomes for their members. They also become energy hubs, providing access to clean and affordable energy to their members and the wider community. They provide technical and financial advice on sustainable energy technologies suitable for households, public entities and businesses.

Climate impact: With a rural electrification rate of 4%, only 0.4% of the population in Uganda has access to modern cooking technologies. Almost 86% households rely on firewood for cooking, leading to high CO2 emissions and strong deforestation (losing 1% of natural forest resources every year). The project generates affordable clean energy for rural households, creating social and economic benefits for women and men, while reducing CO2 emissions and the dependence on fossil fuels.

Gender impact: Gender responsive trainings on energy technologies and management are conducted to create equal ownership of business activities and installed technologies. For each technology, two cooperative members, female and male, are elected to be in charge of the technical and management issues. Cooperative members are responsible for raising awareness within their communities, particularly within women’s saving groups, providing advice responding to their needs and capacities.

Scalability / replicability: Existing community structures, such as saving groups and cooperatives, create possibilities for joint investments in energy technologies and act as multipliers. The production and use of decentralized solar energy and the recycling of organic waste promote local value chains and climate-friendly, sustainable economies. The solutions are feasible, replicable and inclusive. They transform the agricultural and energy sector, reduce poverty, create income, improve health and the communities’ resilience.

Organization:
Body:
Resource:
Language:
Tags:

Good farming practices to save river Kagera from silting

Description of the project: The Kagera river, a tributary of the Nile, is being threatened by silting due to unsustainable farming methods. Its river basin is a very rich agricultural ground supporting 16.5 million people in Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The project aims to improve and modernize current farming methods, in order to improve food security and ensure resilient livelihoods for people and animals living in this area. Groups of 50 new beneficiaries are trained every month on farming methods, followed by a tree-planting scheme by the river. Structures for a warehouse and a community hall are being established by the beneficiaries.

Climate impact: Revitalizing the river and its surrounding areas is key to ensure sustainable livelihoods for the fauna and communities who depend on it for their survival. The new farming methods, the creation of tree nurseries, as well as the creative ways in which plastic and organic wastes are being recycled and reused, tackle this challenge with a holistic approach. In addition, every participating household is given a rain harvest water tank to reduce water consumption from the river.

Gender impact: 80% of the farmers in the Kagera basin are women due to male migration. Refugees make up a third of targeted beneficiaries. Increasing food security has cut down early marriages and domestic violence, often prompted by famine. In addition to capacity building on resilient farming, 300 women and girls have been trained in craft-making, recycling plastic and paper waste with other products to make jewelry, baskets, and mats generating new income. A saving groups scheme has helped women and girls access financial autonomy, but also sexual and reproductive health care.

Scalability/replicability: Using easily replicable structures (i.e., a committee for collective decisions), methods and tools, with locally sourced raw materials, this project can be scaled up all along the Kagera river basin stretching from Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Its holistic approach, addressing food security, access to clean water, waste management and poverty reduction, with safe and sustainable solutions, could also be applied to other river basins in the world.

Organization:
Body:
Resource:
Language:
Tags:

Osukuru women surviving to climate impact through sustainable reforestation and low emitting stoves

Description of the project: Osukuru United Women’s Network provides community education on climate change, tree planting with seedlings and nursery beds, manufacture of Lorena cookstoves and biomass briquettes. It targets those most exposed to climate change in Uganda: training is primarily for women, but men are also included. Main objectives are to reduce CO2 emissions and indoor air pollution, improve women’s and children’s health, food security, and household income. The community (38,000 inhabitants) benefited from the increased food production as a result of reforestation. The initiative creates entrepreneurship opportunities and greater autonomy for women.

Climate impact: Since 2006, the village has experienced severe climate change impacts. The adaptation and mitigation activities of Osukuru United Women’s Network have produced immediate results: planted trees provide beneficial shade for food crops and combat soil erosion threatening food supply. The clean cookstoves have significantly reduced CO2 emissions and indoor air pollution caused by the burning of firewood.

Gender impact: The trainings have enabled the establishment of women’s small entreprises. 25 women are selling briquettes for the cookstoves; the extra income earned is used to start poultry business and pay their children’s school fees. Reforestation and agroforestry ensures increased food production and reinforce financial independence. Improved health, nutrition and revenues as well as counselling on sexual abuse are slowly improving women’s status and changing the community’s visions of gender roles.

Scalability / replicability: The scalability of the initiative lies in the strong commitment of the local community: after having lived through severe floods and droughts and being left out of international support, local donors and villagers contribute to the project from their own pockets, and they have seen the direct results of their investment in time and resources. Regular community decision-making meetings are chaired by both women and men.

Organization:
Body:
Resource:
Language:
Tags:

Solar Sister eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity

Description of the project: Solar Sister combines the breakthrough potential of clean energy technology with a deliberately woman-centered direct sales network to bring light, hope and opportunity to even the most remote communities in rural Africa. Solar Sister eradicates energy poverty through empowering women with economic opportunity and we promote women‘s leadership to build a brighter future. Investing in women is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Solar Sister creates sustainable businesses, powered by smart investments in women entrepreneurs.

Climate Impact: Solar Sister is increasing access to solar and clean cooking technologies. Solar lamps replace kerosene, which produce toxic fumes, black carbon, and increase risk of burns. More efficient cook stoves reduce fuel use by 30-60%, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas and black carbon emissions and reducing impacts on forests, habitats, and biodiversity.

Gender Impact: Solar Sister is a women-led social enterprise working at the forefront of women‘s leadership for gender just climate action. Since 2010, Solar Sister has built a thriving network of 2000 women entrepreneurs who have brought clean energy access to over 350 000 people across Sub-Saharan Africa. Solar Sister‘s CEO is a women, over 86% of the staff and over 57% of our board are women. We are showing that women‘s leadership is needed at all levels for lasting change. Solar Sister entrepreneurs are farmers, nurses, school teachers, basket weavers, community mobilizers – all making the world brighter and better!

Organization:
Body:
Resource:
Language:
Tags:

A forest-dependent women‘s initiative to enhance community resilience to climate change

Description of the project: Forest-dependent women organized themselves into groups, communally constructed fuel-saving stoves and replaced their kerosene (fossil fuel) lamps with solar lighting (an alternative renewable energy). They also constructed water harvesting tanks and planted trees. The women established forest-based, non-extractive income generating activities like beekeeping for honey and medicinal plant cultivation and processing. They also reached out to schools with sustainable livelihood practices with the aim of nurturing successive generations in these conservation efforts. The initiative creates synergies by implementing recommendations of the Multilateral Environment Agreements in an integrated manner.

Climate Impact: The project has had the effect of contributing to global efforts to reduce global warming and mitigate climate change by conserving the natural tropical forest of Rwoho, a carbon sink of international significance. This has been done by implementing activities aimed at reducing the human footprint on the forest and maintaining its integrity. The initiative has planted 2 137 hectares of the Rwoho Natural Forest buffer zone with 2 374 207 trees absorbing 1 282 200 tons of Carbon per rotation (Twenty Year Period). By promoting household and school use of fuel efficient stoves, the initiative has reduced consumption of woody biomass from the average 147 Kg per household per month to 100 Kgs per household per month. As a result the initiative has reduced the threat from fire within the natural, tropical forest of Rwoho from 76% to 10%.

Gender Impact: Century old traditional practices have left women without education, skills and their own productive resources from the land that they toil. This project has taken this into account. The initiative promoting honey production is an income generating activity that is not labour or capital intensive and does not require a lot of land in order to cater to women who lack productive resources. Using fuel saving stoves and installing water harvesting capacity reduces the workload of women who traditionally have the responsibility of gathering fuel wood and collecting water. The women are the owners of this initiative and they democratically elect their Governing Board annually. The initiative is creating awareness and imparting skills to women in fuel-efficient stove construction. These are marketable skills that women can use to get employment to earn a living.

Organization:
Body:
Resource:
Language:
Tags:

Women cooperative preserving the Kinyara forest through bee farming and sustainable agriculture

Description of the project: The Budongo women bee cooperative generates income for 200 rural women affected by HIV living in the sugarcane area of Kinyara. The project develops organic honey production and sustainable agriculture as an alternative to sugarcane monoculture that deplete forests. Since 2012 the cooperative has produced over 1 ton of honey, trained more than 100 women and men in sustainable agriculture and modern bee farming practices, saved more than 15,000 ha of forest from monoculture encroachment, created jobs for over 50 women locally and in district authorities. The project is conducted in cooperation with the National Forest Authority.

Climate Impact: The project’s sustainable land and forest management has preserved 15000 ha of forest from depletion, and improved carbon sequestration through the plantation of 5000 indigenous trees. Additionally,the cooperative has developped energy saving cookstoves (2000 pieces locally contructed) which significantly reduces CO2 emissions. Enabling improved food production among the farmers provides a sustainable alternative to the dominant sugarcane monocultures in the Kinyara forest.

Gender Impact: Safeplan Uganda and Budongo cooperative have empowered over 400 women affected by HIV in 4 sub-districts, sharing skills on energy saving and sustainable agriculture. 80 women have received training on sustainable bee-farming and started sustainable honey production generating revenues of up to $400 yearly. Women, men and youths have worked together to support rural women’s empowerment through participatory approach.

Scalability /replicability: The project is scalable to other areas because the Bee Enterprise supports its members with inputs at a lower cost than the operational and production costs. The lead agency Safeplan Uganda assists women and communitiy leaders in re-organizing groups into self-management structures. All project partners also provide technical support with equipment and capacity building for staff or group leaders.

Organization:
Body:
Resource:
Language:
Tags: