IAP World Environment Week

by | Jun 10, 2019 | Insights | 0 comments

Air pollution is causing 7 million premature deaths each year. While this is a global problem, low income people are at a particularly high risk, as they often lack sufficient health care and innovative solutions to mitigate the issue. The annual World Environment Day is held on the 5th of June, and the theme for 2019 is ‘air pollution’. Throughout this week, the Innovations Against Poverty Fund contributed to the global awareness by showing some of the inclusive businesses currently addressing the issue of air pollution through their innovations, supported by Innovations Against Poverty.

Dream Light Waste: From Waste to Energy

10 years ago, a group of young entrepreneurs from Ethiopia were visiting Nairobi, Kenya. While walking in the city, one of them carelessly throw the cover from a gum on the street. A Kenyan woman who was walking with them instantly stopped and said “This is Nairobi, not Addis Ababa. Don’t throw waste on the street, put it in the dust bin!” The firm reaction from the woman chocked the group at first, but later triggered them to reflect on the issue of waste management.

When the entrepreneurs got back to Ethiopia, they started to discuss the issue in their hometown. The city administration collects about 60 tons of solid waste daily. The waste is disposed in over-used dump sites, leaving it to rot or setting fire to it, consequently creating greenhouse gases such as methane and CO2. Some of the waste is left on the streets, eventually to be washed away by heavy rains into and contaminating nearby rivers and lakes- precious sources that communities rely on for their water supply. Seeing these problems, the entrepreneurs decided to establish Dream Light Solid Waste Cleaning and Recycling PLC, an inclusive business supported by Innovations Against Poverty, that recycles waste into organic fertilizers, fuel briquettes and bottled biogas.

Most people in the rural areas of Ethiopia currently depend on charcoal and fuel woods for cooking. These solid fuels significantly contributes to indoor air pollution, and the consumption of forest in the area. Therefore, by replacing the solid fuels with modern energy sources from recycled waste, Dream Light, not only addresses issues of waste management and pollution, but also reduces indoor air pollution.

Wana Energy Solutions: Saving People form Indoor Air Pollution with a Pay-as-you-go Business Model for Clean Cooking

“It wasn’t until years later when I became a medical doctor I realized that the fire wood I was collecting as a kid was killing my mother slowly” – Emmy, CEO and managing director of WANA Energy Solutions (WES)

Indoor air pollution is one of the world’s largest environmental problems, killing over 2 million people every year. It’s caused by the use of solid fuels for cooking and cleaning. The solution is clear: we need to shift from solid fuels to modern energy sources. But how and when?

WES, supported by Innovations Against Poverty, have decided to take action. They have created an inclusive business model in Uganda, to make clean cooking affordable and accessible for all. Read their story and get inspired by their work.

Read the full story here.

Winsol: Lighting up Ethiopian Villages with Local produced Solar Energy Systems

“I understand the risk of living in unstable, damaged and polluted environment. I therefore have to put my fingerprint in society by becoming a role model that will have a great impact on future generations. – Biniyam, Manager and Founder of Winsol Green Power Engineering PLC.

In Ethiopia, about 70% of the population lack access to electricity, and even less so to clean energy. The primary light source comes from Kerosene, which releases black carbon emissions, a significant contributor to global warming. Although there is a great demand for the solar energy market, the conventional solutions often comes from import products from China, without any warranty or after sales services.

By building up a local production capacity of solar products, Winsol Green Power Engineering, supported by Innovations Against Poverty, provides an affordable alternative, reducing about 30% of the costs. The innovation comprise of a solar home system generator with four lamps, a mobile charger, and a radio: all manufactured through recycled plastic materials. To make it even more accessible for the low income people of Ethiopia, the solution is a pay-as-you-go solar, enabling customers to pay on a credit basis.

Learn more about their innovation here: winsolsolars.com

EcoGroup: Providing a Clean Cooking Solution using Volcanic Rocks as Fuel

The SDGs, especially goals 3,5,7, and 13 respectively emphasize on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages, gender equality, energy access for all, and climate action. That is Why Eco Group limited, supported by Innovations Against Poverty, manufactures cook stoves that use volcanic rock for fuels in Uganda.

Cooking with rocks as fuels is estimated to cut down the cost of household charcoal consumption up to 75%, consequently improving both the economy, and the health of families. The rocks retain heat over a long period, do not produce smoke and are re-usable up to 6 months when used daily. The product also addresses the problem of reducing the cutting down of trees to burn charcoal.

Have a look at the visual story here, that includes testimonials from women involved and benefited from Eco Group’s inclusive business in Uganda.