A FEW WORDS
Rural Women Energy Security Ltd/Gte (RUWES) is a Non-Profit Organization targeted towards saving lives, protecting the environment and improving the economy. RUWES is also aimed at providing renewable energy at a subsidized rate for underserved rural and peri-urban women. This involves wealth creation by improving the value chain of women enterprise involving over 2million women across Nigeria. RUWES works with manufacturers and distributors of clean energy products, as well as financial institutions and governments to ensure reliable, practical and affordable clean energy products are readily available. The Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES) was established in 2010 and started as a project under Renewable Energy Programme (REP) designed to enlighten and provide women access to clean and green energy alternatives, locally available especially for cooking and lighting needs. It is targeted at the under-served rural woman who is usually off grid, energy poor and has the highest incidence of health-related issues from harmful energy practices.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), smoke from indoor air pollution causes over 100,000 deaths in Nigeria every year, mostly women and children. Owing to the energy poverty prevalent in the rural areas, most households depend on firewood for cooking and heating purposes. This practice degrades our environment and is very inimical to the health of the women and children who are the most vulnerable to the effects of fuel wood burning.
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Replacing inefficient cooking, heating and lighting devices with clean alternatives can rapidly achieve development and energy access goals, save money and reduce climate warming. Many of the million households that lack reliable access to sustainable energy rely on firewood, diesel generator sets, inefficient and dangerous simple wick lamp and other kerosene fuelled sources for cooking, illumination, studying or income generating work after sun-down, using billions of litres of kerosene and tonnes of firewood annually to meet basic lighting, heating and cooking needs.
The RUWES Initiative intends to enhance individual, government and private sector efforts to improve access to energy, empower women, protect environment and reduce SLCPs by:
- Creating awareness and sensitization campaigns in the rural communities on the need to reduce black carbon emission and adopt cleaner technologies via road walks, campaigns, symposiums, product demonstrations, etc.
- reducing premature death rates due to black carbon inhalation while enhancing personal health and physical environment,
- Creating awareness and sensitization campaigns in the rural communities, on the need to reduce black carbon emission and adopt cleaner technologies through product demonstrations.
- Establishing viable markets and sustainable supply chain for improved and clean energy technologies
- Creating sources of income and serving as a means of poverty alleviation by providing energy for homes and small businesses.
- Creating access to finance for rural business incubation and entrepreneurship.
PURPOSE OF RUWES INITIATIVE
The Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES) Initiative stems from a need to save lives protect the environment and improve the economy. It is targeted towards the under-served rural woman, usually off grid, energy poor and has the highest incidence of health-related issues from harmful energy practices. In addition, RUWES is focused on wealth creation and capacity development, by improving the value chain of female enterprises and enhance their capacity through targeted training. At the heart of the RUWES Initiative are the rural women, their children and their families. RUWES intends to raise awareness about the connection between health, poverty and fuel sources, and to organize and galvanize rural women to demand for sustainable alternatives that will provide a lasting solution to the problem.
The RUWES INITIATIVE aims to lower market entry barriers in the clean energy sphere by working directly with manufacturers and distributors of clean energy products, financial institutions and government ministries, departments and agencies to ensure reliable, practical and affordable clean energy products are readily available to the rural poor.
The main goals of the RUWES Initiative are to enlighten and provide rural women with clean and green energy alternative locally available for cooking, heating and lighting needs. RUWES also concentrates on developing valuable business models aimed at creating a financial value chain for the rural woman, by providing her with the necessary tools (access to capital, skills and capacity enhancement) needed to improve her sources of livelihood as well as create successful and sustainable businesses to improve rural economy.