Othaya women trained on using clean solar energy

An official of wPOWER Hub organisation demonstrates how to use a solar lantern at Gatugi trading centre in Othaya, Nyeri County recently. [Photo: Joseph Mukubwa]
An official of wPOWER Hub organisation demonstrates how to use a solar lantern at Gatugi trading centre in Othaya, Nyeri County recently. [Photo: Joseph Mukubwa]

A group of about 50 women in Othaya, Nyeri County have been trained on sustainable clean energy, thanks to a new initiative by wPOWER Hub, Wangari Maathai Institute.

According to Prof Kiama Gitahi, Director Wangari Maathai Institute, while speaking during the three- day training programme on sustainable clean energy entrepreneurship held at Gatugi township recently, the training was meant to empower women on clean energy issues.

Gitahi urged participants to safeguard their environment and strive to unlock their potential as sustainable natural resource managers.

“These series of trainings form part of wPOWER Hub activities towards the Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewable (“wPOWER”) project that was launched by the US State Department in January 2013,” Gitahi said.

The wPOWER Hub focuses on empowering women’s groups by equipping them with the skills and tools they need to bring about community transformation in clean energy, environmental stewardship and livelihood improvement.

WPOWER OthayaApproach

According to Alice Wanjiru, a participant, Kenyans in rural areas are embracing alternative clean energy innovations as the hope of getting electricity fades away due to the high cost.

“Inefficient lighting and cooking contribute to climate change through increased carbon emissions, and the degradation of natural resources such as trees which are cut to provide firewood for cooking while kerosene is used to provide light,” said Wangui who is also a trainer.

The participants were also given an opportunity to buy and sell at a profit the solar lamps and energy cooking jikos.

According to Gitahi, by 2050 one-third of the world’s energy will need to come from solar, wind and other renewable resources, hence renewable need to play a bigger role today more than tomorrow.

wPOWER aims to empower more than 8,000 women clean energy entrepreneurs across East Africa, Nigeria and India who will deliver clean energy access to more than 3.5 million people over the next three years.

wPOWER Hub at the Wangari Maathai Institute is working together with the Green Belt Movement, MacArthur Foundation, Global Alliance for Clean Cook stoves, CARE International, Solar Sister, Women for Women International and the Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) India, to empower women energy entrepreneurs across Africa and Africa.