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Community Savings and Loaning

Photographer: Cristina Vazquez

 

This is an international project promoting energy efficient cooking stoves for rural communities in Kenya and supporting the rural communities through Community Savings and Loaning methodology (CSL).

 

Kenya is still struggling with a low electrification rate. Almost 90 per cent of the country’s households use firewood for cooking. Nearly all of the rural households collect firewood themselves, which keeps residents busy for five to 20 hours per week.

 

The ‘Carbon Offset Project’ was launched by Swiss nonprofit climate protection organization myclimate in October 2010. Until then, households in the project area of Siaya County in Nyanza Province, Western Kenya, used traditional three-stone fireplaces for cooking, burning large amounts of firewood.

 

Myclimate partners with Tembea Youth Centre for Sustainable Development, a community based development organization, to implement this methodology in the project area (Siaya County). Tembea staff train these CSL groups in microfinancing in order to address the unmet needs of the poor brought about by the existing gap in the major financial services providers like the banks and insurance companies.

 

Currently, over 500 CSL groups have been founded in Siaya County. They have regular weekly meetings in which they not only collect and distribute funds, but also brainstorm a variety of methods to provide local residents with an income, such as acquiring energy efficient cook stoves or helping them when facing emergencies.