National Launch of the RUWES Initiative
The National Launch of the RUWES Initiative held on the 10th of December, 2013 at the NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja. The event was chaired by the Minister of Environment, Architect Darius Ishaku. The Honourable Minister highlighted the importance of energy in every sphere of life stating that energy which is important in meeting our most basic needs of cooking, heating and lighting has been largely ignored. The Minister said that evidence suggests that widespread deployment of clean cookstoves and solar lighting systems under the RUWES Initiative with energy and combustion efficiency which are improvements over traditional dirty fuel sources could also potentially help mitigate adverse effects on human health, energy poverty, time, income savings and climate consequences.
The RUWES State Coordinators, individuals from FBOs, NGOs and CBOs who are the fore-runners of the RUWES Initiative in their respective states were decorated by the Honourable Minister of Environment, the Resident Coordinator UNDP, Mr. Daouda Toure and the members of the RUWES Advisory Board. Each State Coordinator received a RUWES branded Tricycle for ease of marketing their products. The contents of the tricycle included clean energy numerous technologies for cooking, lighting and solar barbing kits.
The women were enjoined to be diligent and steadfast in the sale of the products and reminded that beyond business; they are advocates for change and are expected to preach to their fellow women to change their energy practices.
RUWES-Project Surya Technology Exchange Programme
In October 2016, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Solution Centre organized an exchange between a group of RUWES women and Project Surya to learn how rural women in Odisha, India are transitioning to clean household energy. They met with women in three villages where they saw different clean cookstove technologies, spoke to rural development organizations about different strategies to finance their own projects, and saw the impact the projects have had on people’s lives.
Of particular interest to the women was how mobile technology is helping women afford clean cooking technology. In the villages of Keonjhar and Notarpali they saw how sensors connected to cookstoves transmit information via a mobile network to show how often and how long clean cookstoves are used. This helps the organization Nexleaf Analytics quantify how much black carbon and carbon dioxide is prevented from being emitted into the atmosphere. This is then translated into ‘climate credits’, which enable women to get payments for using their stoves.
RUWES and Nexleaf are now trialing a similar scheme in two villages (Mararraban-Burum and Katampe) close to the Nigerian capital, the projects in Burum and Katampke, Abuja, Nigeria are modeled after the projects in Keonjhar and Notarpali in Odisha, India, by transitioning rural Nigerian women from their traditional energy practices to clean household energy. It involves utilizing mobile technology to help women to afford clean cookstoves. These clean cookstoves were distributed to beneficiary houses within the two (2) communities, and they were connected to sensors which transmit information on the frequency and duration of use of the clean cookstoves via a mobile network provider. This enables RUWES and Nexleaf Analytics quantify black carbon and carbon dioxide emission reduction. This calculation is then translated into ‘climate credits’, which enable rural Nigerian women, who are the direct users of the stoves, to get payments for using their stoves.
In March 2017, a team from the CCAC visited the project sites, and the purpose of the visit was to enable the CCAC Household Energy Initiative ascertain the use and efficiency of clean cook stoves that have been widely popularized and adopted by the rural populace in Nigeria through the activities of the RUWES and Nexleaf Analytics as part of the CCAC Solution Center intervention.
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RUWES Stakeholders Forum
The Rural Stakeholders Forum held on the 13th November 2014 at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja. The forum, which had in attendance RUWES Advisory Board Chair, the Minister of Environment and the outgoing Permanent Secretary, was the first since the inauguration of RUWES on 10th December 2013.
The focus of the workshop was to introduce RUWES to new partners; largely women drawn from the paramilitary agencies and faith based organizations. Also in attendance were development partners from Henrich Boll Foundation, the Nigerian Infrastructure Advisory Facility, United Nations Development Programme, Winrock International.
There was an exhibition and demonstration of clean energy technologies by private manufacturers and distributors such as All-Go clean fuel makers of ethanol fuel and stoves, Integra Renewable Energy Services, Roshan Global Services Limited manufacturer of Happy Energy Saving stoves and Solar force.
The presence of new and existing cookstove and lighting energy producers and marketers was to allow for interactions with the end user to address issues of quality control while taking into consideration preference of users. This would ensure that the best quality clean energy products are offered to them through the RUWES Initiative. This is necessary to sustain interest, use of products, minimize complaints and thus increase the credibility of the initiative all of which are required to expand the impact of RUWES.
Launch of the RUWES Woman 2 Woman Campaign
The RUWES Woman to Woman Campaign was flagged off on the 13th November 2014 by the Honourable Minister of Environment – Mrs Lawrentia Laraba Mallam, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment – Mrs Rabi Jimeta and the wife of the Ambassador of the United States in Nigeria – Mrs Pamela Schmoll at the 2014 edition of the RUWES Stakeholders Workshop.
The RUWES Woman to Woman Campaign is a self-help campaign that seeks to develop community-based marketers and the clean energy technology distribution chain by stimulating business and collaboration amongst women to champion and lead the green energy revolution. This skills transfer model involves training a rural woman on the basics of clean energy entrepreneurship. At the event, the semi-literate RUWES Women demonstrated proficiency in assembling and repairing clean cookstoves, skills expected to be transferred to other rural women.
Launch of the RUWES Kaura Namoda Partnership
In a bid to scale up access to clean energy for women in the rural Zamfara State, and with support from its development partners, a pilot of the RUWES-LGA Partnership was implemented in Kaura Namoda Local Government of the State on the 6th to 8th September, 2014, the first of its type.
Day 1; Technical and Awareness Forum: Three (3) Women Business Membership Organizations (BMO) from the Local Government were selected and the members of each BMO was given awareness on technical skills of how to run a business, the use of clean energy products and benefits of shifting from the traditional energy practices.
Day 2; Official Launch of the RUWES – Kaura Namoda Partnership: The RUWES Starter Kits were unveiled and each BMO was equipped with a RUWES Starter kit consisting of a motorised tricycle, eco-boxes, clean cookstoves, and solar lighting equipments. The Chairman of Kaura Namoda Local Government pledged 80% subsidy on clean energy products in actualising the project and this impacted a total of 1,990 beneficiaries through the distribution of these clean energy products.
In attendance was Chairman of Kaura Namoda LGA, Chairman of Tsafe LGA, Emir of Kaura Namoda, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigerian Infrastructure Advisory Facility, and the Global Environment Facility, members of the different BMO’s and indigenes of Kaura Namoda LGA.