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Hope for Tharaka –Nithi County over effects of climate change

Tharaka- Nithi residents have a reason to smile after a private company extended its  initiative to partner with other stakeholders to mitigate against effects of climate change that is not only affecting the county, but is a global threat to humanity.

Climate Pal has extended its support dubbed “Hifadhi project” to the county from the neighbouring Embu county, where it has managed to introduce 60,          000 households into energy saving and health compliant cooking stoves, besides introduction of the economic friendly forestation programme.

Hifathi project manager Kenneth Mwenda said his organization has decided to extend its services to Tharaka-Nithi after realizing that the county has similar challenges as those of Embu County where it pitched camp about a decade ago.

“Climate change does not recognize administrative boundaries and thus the experience we have attained in the neighbouring county will take us a long way in introducing Hifadhi project in Tharaka-Nithi County,” said the project manager.

Mwenda who was speaking during a stakeholders meeting held in a Chuka resort said their organization first seeks the support of the communities involved before rolling out their project to ensure it encompasses their needs.

Presiding over the event, the Tharaka -Nithi Assistant County Commissioner  Rukia Chitechi said the government appreciates Climate Pal and other organizations mitigating against the effects of climate change and hailed them for extending their project to the county.

“The government is working hard in seeking ways of getting sustainable development that is environmental friendly and therefore the Hifathi project that kicked off in Embu is very welcome to not only Tharaka Nithi but other counties as well,” said the administration officer who was representing the County Commissioner.

Chitechi said the government has brought the NPG gas that provides the small cylinder and accessories at an affordable Sh2000 on a pilot basis into the county and will soon be rolling out the project to all sub-counties.

She said the bottom line of the project is to mitigate against health hazards and environmental degradation associated with charcoal burning and therefore any other stakeholders complimenting the government initiative is very much welcome.

The administrator further appealed to the participants in the meeting to serve as ambassadors to spread the benefits associated with Hifadhi project and the NPG gas to their communities to help improve health and mitigate against deforestation.

Climate Pal is developing an improved woodstoves project in Kenya and as a starting point it deployed the Hifadhi programme in the County of Embu, on the slopes of Mount Kenya.

The company has a stated goal of improving the livelihoods of the poor and fighting climate change, and does this by means of distributing energy-efficient woodstoves that have an important social and environmental impact: reduced consumption of wood amounts to decrease in deforestation,

The reduced need of firewood means more time is saved by women and children, who are traditionally in charge of wood collecting in the Kenyan rural society. Moreover, important health benefits arise from reduced smoke from cooking stoves, if compared to the traditional three stones cooking method.

By David Mutwiri

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