3 billion people still cook on an open fire. So many cook in unventilated spaces, living within and breathing in high levels of air pollution daily. It's women and children who are often the ones to suffer the most. Worldwide, indoor air pollution causes over 4 million deaths* - from pneumonia, chronic lung disease and lung cancer attributed to cooking with biomass solid fuels; 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries.
We want to help stop this, to bring clean sustainable energy to the poorest parts of the world by training trainers and helping catalyse biogas businesses. This is why CREATIVenergie was formed.
Biogas is an amazing technology that uses bacteria to convert organic waste matter into gas that you can cook with, use to light your home, or even run a fridge for crucial medical supplies. Our aim is to train and equip people to be biogas trainers so that they can start training programs within their own communities. This will catalyse biogas business growth, bringing sustainable energy to more people.
In the UK our energy is supplied through massive grid infrastructure. Rural places in the developing world have got an amazing opportunity to do things in a different way through decentralised energy. It is empowering because it is about local people in control of their energy supply.
The development centre (http://www.cheptebo.org/) that we are working with has already had a taste of this empowering, enriching and health enhancing technology through the demonstration plant that we built for them two years ago. Following the success of this project we are privileged to have been asked back to deliver the next part of our vision; where the technology becomes multiplied in their community through effective training.
CREATIVenergie was formed by two friends who had been working on and supporting other sustainable energy projects in the developing world. Gareth and Joel met at University. Gareth was studying Architecture and Engineering, Joel studied Physics and then completed a PhD in biomass energy for development. They both became increasingly aware of the need for clean and sustainable energy to enable other development to happen. Joel and Gareth are Christians and aim to follow Jesus' example of helping the poor. We typically do this through churches and local community organisations, working in partnership to build capacity and unlock the power of local resources to enable self-propagating renewable energy projects and other indigenous initiatives such as micro-enterprises to start.
In Spring 2015 we hope to be travelling to the Kerio Valley in Kenya to deliver a course teaching biogas to prospective trainers. At the end of the course the trainers will have gone through the necessary practical, theoretical, business and health and safety aspects to be able to effectively propagate biogas within their community.
The trainers coming on the course are paying Ksh 10,000 (approx £70), this will contribute towards the costs of a biogas plant for each participant to build on their own farm after the course, enabling them to put into practice what they have learnt and create visibility of the new technology working within their community.
The biogas training course will be integrated into Cheptebo's Agricultural Training program and biogas kits will be manufactured locally as a self sustaining business. A biogas kit will be provided as part of the course cost, so that everyone who comes for training will go home with a biogas plant.
Your money will go towards purchasing local bulk materials to begin the biogas kit manufacture and towards expenses to make this course happen, which includes travel expenses, publishing expenses of the course manual and expenses for construction training materials.
"The scarcity of firewood, which is now becoming a challenge both in the valley and the highlands of Kenya, increases the future potential for biogas use. Many local farmers have shown interest and their current challenge is finances, but they have committed that they will undertake the project. One of the immediate benefits to the people of the Kerio Valley is its continued training opportunity especially in the area of environmental conservation.” Centre Manager, Joseph Kimeli
We are committed to continuing to work with Cheptebo Rural Development Centre to help the biogas project to grow and enable farmers to start their own systems. Furthermore, the material we develop for this course will not be restricted to Kenya, but will be published open source for use by other organisations around the world.
How qualified are you to make this happen?
Gareth is a qualified Architect and is experienced in designing and delivering construction projects worldwide. He is an Acting Associate for Architype Architects http://www.architype.co.uk/team/gareth-selby/. Joel has a PhD in biomass and works as a researcher for Heriot Watt University. Together we have already delivered two biogas plants, which have been a real success.
How can I get hold of the material once you have made it?
All material will be downloadable from our website www.creativenergie.co.uk
Tell me more about Cheptebo
Cheptebo Rural Development Centre has been established for over 25 years. The centre was set up by missionaries but today is run by local Kenyans, Joseph and Sally Kimelli. The work of Cheptebo has transformed the Valley in which they live from one of famine to one of flourishing. At the heart of their work is the desire to practically demonstrate the love of Jesus. They are in the process of setting up a farmers training institute, and after the success of the demonstration biogas unit we collaboratively built for them, they would like sustainable energy to be one of the modules in the forthcoming training programme.
You mention a course book, tell me about this, can I get hold of one?
We are in the process of producing and printing materials for the trainers to use in running courses. It includes an 'IKEA' style manual that uses images to communicate how to set up and run a biogas plant. We want the instructions to be understandable by all, irrespective of ability to read. All material that we develop will be made freely available to everyone after running the course in Kenya.
If you have any more questions, feel free to email us at. Also, if you would like to sign up for our newsletter and keep connected with what we are up to click here.