Supermodel Gisele Bundchen Participates in CleanCook Demonstration in Kenya

Supermodel and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen Participates in CleanCook Ethanol Stove Demonstration and Household Visits in Kisumu, Kenya.
Supermodel and philanthropist Gisele Bündchen visited several clean cookstove projects including the CleanCook ethanol stove during a five-day “energy access exposure visit” to Kenya in honor of the UN-launched International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. The event took place in Kisumu, a city that reflects the energy crisis impacting more than three billion people worldwide: lack of access to clean household energy. The visit was hosted by the UK-based charity, Practical Action and facilitated by the Ethiopian non-profit Gaia Association.

The high-profile visit was designed to communicate issues of energy poverty to Goodwill Ambassador Bündchen, who has been named the “greenest celebrity in the world.” Ms. Bündchen carried fuelwood alongside Kenyan women, observed smoky living environments and learned about the dangers of collecting and cooking with polluting fuels. “Energy for all is achievable. Just two per cent of global investment is needed,” stated Ms. Bündchen one week before the official launch of the UN event. Daniel Machado da Fonseca, Head of the Economic and Commercial Section of the Brazilian Embassy in Kenya and bio-fuel expert, brought the Brazilian philanthropist together with Gaia to discuss how Gaia and Brazil could work to improve worldwide access to ethanol for household use. Mahder Alebachew, Project Coordinator of Gaia Association personally demonstrated the CleanCook stove to Ms. Bündchen, and explained the time savings and health benefits for women and girls achieved by cooking with a clean, liquid fuel. Gisele, who is married to American football star Tom Brady, is expected to be an international champion for energy access for women and girls, joining US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and actress Julia Roberts in the cause.

Project Gaia is working in partnership with Practical Action to implement a UNDP-funded study that will pilot 120 CleanCook stoves and assess the feasibility and acceptance of ethanol stoves and fuel in Kisumu. The ethanol supply will come from Spectre International Ltd., a large-scale distiller located in Kisumu. In Dadaab, Kenya, Project Gaia has been involved in providing technical support to UNHCR Dadab refugee camp where 300 cookstoves are in place for pilot testing.

Gaia Association and Project Gaia, Inc. are non-profit, non-governmental organizations working to provide clean-burning stoves and alcohol fuels to families in Africa, Latin America and Haiti.

Multi-Link Group Wins Big at JITIHADA

25th May 2012
Multi-Link group has once again been commended for excellence at the just concluded Gala Night for Jitihada Awards, scooping second runners up in Nairobi, held at Laico Regency Hotel.

Jitihada is a brand name for the Kenya National Business Plan Competition, a Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Competition project funded by the World Bank. The primary aim of the project is to increase productivity and employment in the MSME sector in Kenya.

China Joins the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

By Klaenyza Pritchard on May 4, 2012

Washington, DC (May 4, 2012) – China today announced that it is formally joining the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, an innovative public-private partnership that brings together more than 350 stakeholders to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.

China’s announcement comes during a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Beijing. Secretary Clinton, who launched the Alliance in September 2010, is a staunch supporter of increasing the global adoption of making clean cooking solutions available to women worldwide and all efforts that seek to reduce the tremendous toll cookstove smoke takes on women around the world. China is the 33rd country to join the Alliance since its inception.

Exposure to smoke from traditional cook stoves and open fires – the primary means of cooking and heating for 3 billion people in developing countries – causes almost 2 million premature deaths annually, with women and young children affected most.

The majority of China’s rural population, over 800 million people, relies on solid fuels (biomass and coal) for household cooking and heating. According to the World Health Organization, this accounts for more than 380,000 premature deaths annually.

“We welcome China’s leadership role in the Alliance,” says Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Their participation is a testament to the country’s long-standing commitment to addressing this devastating health and environmental problem and a tremendous boost to a global effort to foster the universal adoption of clean cooking solutions by making them more accessible and affordable to those who most need them.”

The Alliance’s ‘100 by 20’ goal calls for the adoption of clean cooking solutions in 100 million households by the year 2020. China’s role in this global effort will result in greater collaboration on research and testing, support for the development of robust efficiency and emission standards, and transformative approaches to manufacturing cleaner cookstoves. China will play an essential role in making the Alliance’s goal of universal adoption a reality.

China’s determination to tackle environmental and health problems associated with cooking on traditional cookstoves goes back decades. In the early 1980s, China launched the National Improved Stove Program (NISP), the world’s largest publicly financed initiative to improve cookstove efficiency.

China’s domestic cookstoves industry is one of the world’s largest, with over 100 domestic manufacturers. Chinese manufacturers are experts in stove design, efficiency, and lowered emissions. China’s participation in the Global Alliance opens many avenues for collaboration between Chinese and stove experts worldwide.

“China’s experience in the sector makes it a clear leader among national implementing partners of the Alliance,” adds Muthiah. “Its leadership in manufacturing and exporting clean cookstoves, coupled with its potential role in stoves research and standards, makes it an ideal partner to help lead outreach efforts in Asia and ultimately scale up adoption of clean cooking solutions worldwide.”