Kisumu County Government in collaboration with Practical Action, an International Development Organization, has kicked off an elaborate public sensitization on the use of clean energy for the Lake Side City residents.
The two-day programme will cover the 7 sub-counties; Kisumu East, Kisumu West, Seme, Kisumu Central, Nyando, Nyakach and Muhoroni where the residents will be given tips on the use of clean energy such solar lamps and cooking stoves as opposed to wood, charcoal and paraffin.
Kisumu County Chief Officer, Energy and Industrialization Mr. Joseph Oganga said that Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o has stated that he was impressed by the timely intervention taken by Practical Action targeting the Small and Media Enterprise (SMEs) sector and local residents.
In a keynote address while flagging off the caravan at Prosperity House Headquarters in Kisumu, Oganga said the programme would facilitate skills development for the local residents and households in the community who should network in conducting business.
He singled out clean energy through the use of cooking stoves, lamps and solar energy as the most current business opportunity with huge potential apart from developing their skills on how best to promote the new initiative and be able to attract more residents to adopt this technology.
“Let our women adopt the use of clean energy in the rural households by way of using clean solar energy, briquettes and solar lamps as opposed to the traditional paraffin lamp (nyangile),” Oganga explained.
He revealed that the week II project has recruited 83 women entrepreneurs in the value chain of solar, clean cooking stoves and briquettes with a total number of 10 groups.
“The project is supporting Women Energy Enterprises in Kenya (WEEK) with focus in Kisumu County this time round. The aim is to grow a self-dash sustaining clean energy industry by selling improved cooking stoves, briquettes and related solar energy products,” he stated.
The two-day activity will traverse at least 15 market centers spread out across the entire county. Oganga said specific groups have been carefully selected within the target markets where they were expected to assemble.
The caravan covered Kisian, Holo, Daraja Mbili, Kiboswa, Kondele, Manyatta and Nyalenda on the first day. On Thursday the team will head to Chemelil, Awasi, Katito, Sondu, Ahero, Rabuour and Nyamasaria before heading back to Kisumu.
Practical Action Gender and Advocacy Officer Mrs. Sharon Atieno said that they have teamed up with the County Government to champion the use of clean energy, tackle poverty, health and income generation for the local residents.
This, Atieno emphasized, will greatly curb the spiraling Gender Based Violence among local residents most of which have been attributed to the factors mentioned above coupled with the usual small differences in family set ups.
She stated that economic violence against women must be tackled head-on if the vice is to be stamped out while working towards bettering the status of the gender in society, more so in our local communities in line with our 2010 constitution.
Atieno said she was elated to work closely with the County Government to champion the use of clean energy while capacity building local communities to facilitate adoption of these new technologies which would go a long way in ensuring good health for the local population.
By Debbie Naome and Joseph Ouma