Ameliorating rural poverty with energy-efficient cookstoves and safe water technology

This multi-technology project distributes both efficient cookstoves and water purification devices to local communities in Kenya. Its aim is to provide safe water and clean indoor air to improve livelihoods in East Africa, while at the same time preventing deforestation.

The context

Most Kenyan households spend a significant amount of time and income procuring fuel to cook and boil water. The continued collection of firewood by local people in Paradigm target locations is exhausting local wood supplies and causing deforestation. Community members must consequently travel further more than 15 kilometres from their towns to collect fuel – in some cases, mothers are away from their young children and nursing infants for many hours.

The project

The Paradigm project distributes more efficient stoves and clean water technologies to Kenyan communities. Families now require less wood fuel to cook and purify water supplies, and pressures on the surrounding forests are eased. Replacing traditional cookstoves with locally-manufactured, efficient stoves reduces fuel use by about 50%, and decreases toxic emissions by up to 70%.

The benefits

By distributing these modern efficient cookstoves, the Paradigm project creates household savings of up to 15% – money that can instead go towards food, school fees, and other essentials. Improved indoor air quality significantly reduces cases of respiratory disease and pneumonia, and women are empowered by financial- and time-savings. Safe water filters and community dispensers provide prevent waterborne diseases, and the project also creates local employment opportunities for communities.

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