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NYERI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - Although she struggles to make her economic stake as a housewife, Louise Nyawira is beginning to count herself a winner.The mother of two, who operates a cook stoves making stand at Kangemi estate on the fringes of Nyeri town, is among hundreds in Kenya who are making business out of the kitchen. For every switch a mother makes from the traditional three stones cooking set up to the energy saving cook stove here, there will be more clanging at Nyawira’s yard.“There is high demand for the energy cook stoves because they use less firewood or charcoal,” explains Nyawira. It is easy to see why. At her tin smith yard, the floor is littered with cut metal sheets. A basin at one end is half full with paste cement and clay. It is the assembling of these that have resulted to the waist high pile of newly made cook stoves at another end.“All these are for servicing an order of 30 cook stoves that we must deliver to a customer today,” beams her husband, Philip Njau, who makes the cook stoves, while Nyawira delivers them.Nyawira says customers place orders from as far as neighbouring Counties, for as much a $ 100 in a day.Lately, the couple is planning to hire a tin smith to assist them in making the cook stoves, to meet the high demand.Creating business out of clean energy solutions is an emerging niche that is pulling Kenyan women like Nyawira from the kitchen to the wealth creation ring.With the income she receives from the cook stove making venture, she is able to meet basic expenses like paying school fees for her two children, and buying food.“The good return the business is making has even bonded me closer with my husband,” she says. “We are able to sit down and plan for our family and how to make the business better.”The successful adoption of clean cooking technologies ‘is evidence that poor people are willing, able and indeed often keen, to pay market prices for energy services’, argues the 2016 poor people’s energy outlook report by Practical Action. However, they are unable to afford the full cost of the higher levels of access which would fully meet their needs, adds the report.For instance, the report says, over 84 per cent of Kenyans rely on biomass as their primary energy source for cooking and heating, with firewood contributing 69 per cent and charcoal 13 per cent of this figure.But resources like firewood are diminishing, forcing mothers like Margaret Wanjugu to make a one kilometer journey to buy it from the nearest retailer from her home in Solio village, central Kenya.“There is no firewood,” says Wanjugu, indicating that the resource is on the decline at the nearby forest which the community there has been relying for fuel.Even for those who dare make the 10 kilometer walk to comb for dry twigs at the Gathorongai forest floor, the journey is replete with danger.Stray wild animals like elephants send…
Under unique conservation model, a luxury lodge in Kenya and a conservation organization will work together to help a local community protect a critical ecosystemNAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) — Habitat loss poses a significant threat to biodiversity and people’s livelihoods in Kenya and beyond. Rapid land conversion, mostly driven by human population expansion, is behind this threat, and current trends demand innovative and long-term solutions to address it. For this reason, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Cottar’s Safari Lodges are teaming up to design and deliver conservation programs to support the Olderkesi community in the Masai Mara region in its conservation efforts.“This conservation partnership joins one of the oldest ecotourism lodges in Kenya’s tourism industry with the oldest conservation organization in Africa. Such a partnership approach is key in supporting the conservation of the Olderkesi Conservancy and surrounding lands—we’re able to draw together Cottar’s longstanding relationships with the community with AWF’s conservation expertise to protect a critical elephant corridor in the Masai Mara,” says Kathleen Fitzgerald, vice president for land protection at African Wildlife Foundation.The Olderkesi Group Ranch is host to one of the few remaining wildlife corridors in the Mara ecosystem. It is a part of a vital corridor between the Loita/Ngurman Hills and the Masai Mara National Reserve, hosting more than 3,000 elephants and thousands of transient plains herbivores, such as wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and giraffes. Similar to other parts of the Mara, wildlife in Olderkesi is threatened by land use change, habitat loss and blockage of corridors due to human activities. The ever-increasing human–wildlife interface has resulted in increased conflicts, leading to retaliatory killings.The Olderkesi community area is an essential component of the Serengeti–Mara Ecosystem. It remains one of the last group ranches that have not been subdivided, and thus communities still have access to communal grazing areas, unlike other group ranches in the Mara. “This partnership will enable us to ensure the long-term survival of this critical ecosystem while providing jobs and supporting the local communities in protecting the land upon which they depend,” Calvin Cottar, director, Cottar Safaris.The Masai Mara Reserve offers one of the Kenya’s premium wildlife reserve and important habitat areas for a great variety of wild African animals. It is unique for its great wildebeest migration, Africa's greatest natural spectacle and central point of branding for Kenya‘s tourism sector. Ken-Arthur Wekesa is a Senior Manager, Media Relations African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)
LAGOS, Nigeria (PAMACC News) - TROPICAL Wood Exporters Association of Nigerian (TWEAN) in partnership with thirteen state governments has commenced moves to regenerate the nation’s forests. The exporters have adopted a policy of planting seven trees for every tree that is cut, which is higher that the Nigerian government's policy of plating two trees for every tree that is felled. Disclosing this to PAMACC News Agency in Lagos, TWEAN Secretary General, Mr. Joseph Odiase said that the group in collaboration with some state governments have embarked on massive forestation programme with a view to arresting the menace of deforestation. Odiase said that between Ogun and Ekiti states in Southwest Nigeria, the group has acquired over 1,000 hectares of land for tree planting. The group scribe hinted that Osun, Kogi,Kwara, Taraba, Benue, Edo, Akwa-Ibom Jigawa, Katsina, Niger, Oyo and Ondo states were in discussions with exporters to create tree farms in the states. He explained that wood exporters are ready and willing to partner with the federal government to ensure that the effect of climate change in Nigeria was reduced to barest minimum. Besides wood exporters, the Processed Wood Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria is also deeply involved in the forest regeneration drive. He explained that issue of deforestation is the concern of every Nigerian adding that wood exporters will support government in the move to regenerate the nation’s forest. “We must protect and preserve the forest for the present and future generations because these forests also help in the sustenance and preservation of the environment. “We are working with the Ministry of Environment as they have promised to provide technical support when it is needed “In as much as our businesses are important to us, we cannot jeopardize the environment for economic gains because we are not the only ones operating in the nation’s economy. “We will not only abide with the government policy of planting two trees for every one cut, we are also embarking on a massive forest cultivation programme.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (PAMACC News) - During the 28th Ordinary Summit of the African Union which concluded on 31st January at the African Union Headquarters, elections for the Bureau of the Chairperson, The Deputy Chairperson and Commissioners were held as well as appointment of members to the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption ,the appointment of judges of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights (AfCHPR) and appointment a member of the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL). Chairperson of the African Union Commission H.E Mr. Faki Moussa Mahamat (Chad) Deputy Chairperson H.E. Mr. Thomas Kwesi Quartey (Ghana) Commissioner for Peace and Security H.E. Mr. Smail Chergui (Algeria) Commissioner for Political Affairs H.E. Ms. Minata Cessouma Samate (Burkina Faso) Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy H.E. Ms. Amani Abou-Zeid (Egypt) Commissioner for Social Affairs H.E. Ms. Amira Mohammed Elfadil (Sudan) Commissioner for Trade and Industry H.E. Mr. Albert M. Muchanga (Zambia) Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture H.E. Ms. Correa Leonel Josefa Sacko (Angola) The Commissioners for Economic Affairs and Human Resources Science and Technology will be communicated at a later date. The appointed Members of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption are: Mr. Begoto Miarom (Chad), Mr. John Kithome Tuta (Kenya), Mr. Paulus Kalomho (Namibia), Ms. Florence Ziyambi (Zimbabwe), Mr. Pascal Bamouni (Burkina Faso), Mr. Daniel Batidam (Ghana) and Ms. Elisabeth Gnansounou Fourn (Benin). The appointed judges of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights (AFCHPR) are Ms. Chafika Bensaoula from Algeria and Ms. Rose Tujilane Chizumila from Malawi The appointed member of the African Union Commission on International law is Ms. Kathleen Quartey Ayensu from Ghana.
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