Poverty, it’s related illness and death is well documented today. Organisations like the International Energy Agency (IEA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank (WB), Lighting Africa (WB-LA) and of course by the United Nation’s (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDG) initiative have published numerous papers and reports over the last 10 years that tie continued abject poverty to access to water, food and energy
Their reality is quite simple: people living in rural African areas are faced with limited choices: water unfit for drinking, kerosene for light, wood and/or charcoal for cooking. These choices force them to take actions that have a severe negative effect on the environment and their lives.
Sustainable solutions that leverage locally available resources are needed to have long term positive effects on the livelihoods of rural people.
Our Rural Village Energy Hub is designed to address the facts below and provide a sustainable life changing solution to solving them.
The dangers of using kerosene
- 75% of rural Kenyan families spend up to 50% of their disposable income on kerosene, which, with the recent rising energy crisis, now can cost over US$1 per litre.
- Children often do their homework at night, having to get very close to the lamps to be able to read. They end up having to breathe in the fumes, risking respiratory illness, irritation of their mucous membranes and nagging cough. The lamps are a enormous safety risk – they are often knocked over, causing fires and often death.
- It is estimated that the use of these lamps produce over 190M metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per annum. This is the equivalent to the emissions of 38 million cars.
The dangers of using open fire cooking
- Open fire cooking in developing countries kills over 1.6M people per annum due to respiratory illness. These are mostly women who are exposed to pollutants when they do the cooking at home .
- With no other affordable choice, the average rural African family burns about 14 trees per year! As a result, those families emit an estimated 432 Million Tons of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
- In Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda alone, deforestation has amounted to more than 9.6M hectares over the last 10 years - 6.5, 19.4 and 26.4% of total forest cover respectively.
The dangers of drinking raw water
- A staggering 4 billion cases of diarrhoea are reported every year due to people drinking contaminated water – this results in preventable deaths of 2.2 million people every year.
- Water-borne disease accounts for over 5 million deaths a year – 40% of which are children under the age of five.
- Lack of access to clean water to treat diarrhoea once infection has occurred further compounds the illness; a large percentage of rural children dying from dehydration as a result.