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Together We Can Help Change Many Lives

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND ENERGY CONSERVATION

RHD value environmental issues as a vital concern as it implements its mandates in alleviating people’s livelihoods and suffering all over Kenya-be it in the thematic areas of health, water, energy, agriculture, waste management, biodiversity conservation, poverty alleviation, gender and development-for these are all cross-cutting issues of human survival and well-being, hence, the timely formulation of RHD Environment Strategy. The strategy, dubbed “The Green RHD Environment Strategy” is to assist the organization put in focus most environmental issues in their noble human and developmental mandates in Kenya. The Strategy aims at ensuring a healthy and wealthy environment for all, and also the enhancement and promotion of the quality of the environment.

Kenya is considered by the UN to be a low-forest cover Country because it has less than two per cent of its total land area classified as forest, compared with the 10 per cent expected minimum. The Country has only about 10 forest conservancies. This has resulted in reduced water catchment, biodiversity, supply of forest products and habitat for wildlife. It has also led to conflicts over access between forest managers and communities living near forest resources.

Like much of Kenya, rural areas face numerous environmental challenges. Though natural springs dot the hillsides, keeping them clean and safe is an ongoing challenge. Many springs require long treks to fetch water, and some dry up in the dry season. The high demand for firewood has lead to deforestation, which in turn has created soil erosion and the decline of indigenous trees. Meanwhile, smoke inhalation from cooking is associated with a high incidence of respiratory illness.

Based on local meetings in which community members prioritized their concerns, we have supported the rehabilitation of community springs, the installation of rainwater harvest systems, the construction of sanitary latrines, and the planting of indigenous seedlings, building of gabions. In addition, our most recent proposed projects seek to harness the potential of solar cooking and lighting in a region with plenty of sunshine. We are looking forward to working with any affiliate donor (s), so that we can provide training and solar cookers to more than one hundred families and through a piloting a solar lighting projects to other regions.

Sustainable Green Energy (wind power and solar power)

The outcome of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janiero was a document adopted by all countries titled The Future We Want. The group recognized that improved energy efficiency, increased share of renewable energy, and cleaner and energy-efficient technologies are important for sustainable development, including in addressing climate change. Wind turbine and solar panel arrays can deliver clean energy, while integrating efficiency into the plan cuts the energy renewable need to generate it. Renewable energy is an essential element of a low carbon economy. Around the world, energy systems are moving toward a vision of renewable energy sources distributed over the homes and buildings they serve. From rooftop solar arrays to biomass generators, these technologies harvest the abundant energy in nature and convert it to clean energy to power rural societies.

Cutting down of trees for human settlement, cultivation, charcoal-burning, logging, grazing and related practices in water towers such as Mau Forest and many other areas, have led to depletion of forest cover by both indigenous and plantation forests. These have undermined the realization of sustainable forest management. RHD’s key principles guiding good governance of forests include: equity and justice, empowerment, accountability, transparency and sustainability.

 

 Waste Management/Recycling, Nature Conservation, Ecology roles to Environmental Sustainability, Policy and Environmental Consulting

In developing countries seeking to expand their economic activities, consideration for environmental conservation often receives a low priority. In addition, approaches used in industrialized countries often cannot be applied directly in developing countries. To contribute to the social and economic development and reconstruction of developing countries; particularly to the global environmental protection in compliance with environmental laws and regulation, RHD has developed an environmental management system that is based on the following activities and policies:

Promotion of environmental measures through activities for the protection and improvement of the environment through technical cooperation programs and projects

Restoration / replanting of degraded sites

Restoration means restoring as far as possible the ecosystem services of forest. This is a long‐term goal that is initiated as a medium term action with indigenous tree planting in hills/ forests (including riverbank protection inside and outside the forest areas). Survival of the indigenous seedlings can be 80‐90 percent.
Establishing Tree Nurseries and Woodlots

  • RHD is working with individuals, women and youth groups by providing them with small grants/ funds to establish tree nurseries and woodlots from a blend of both indigenous and exotic for the sustainability of the forested area and the establishment of the nature trail, and for learning. The trees are later purchased from these groups by either RHD and other organization carrying out tree planting projects.
  • Promotion of activities for general environmental awareness- With the aim of raising public awareness, R.H.D collects information about environmental issues both in regional and national levels in order to pursue promotional and educational activities. In some cases, R.H.D conducts surveys and research on environmental issues; develops relevant proposals; and implements continuous training through seminars and guidance programs for its personnel and other personnel engaged in our activities.
  • Sustainable Use of Natural Resources.In cases where local people are trying to make a living by over-exploiting natural resources, RHD assistance is designed to help those people to manage the environment properly so that they can reconcile the improvement of their incomes and living standards with environmental conservation and the use forests and other natural resources on a planned and sustainable basis through support in such areas as forest resource monitoring and the formulation of forest management plans.
  •  Protection of Biodiversity.In regions with significant biodiversity, RHD assistance focuses on the development of environmental data, game park management, environmental education, and other activities that contribute to biodiversity protection.
  • Restoration of Wasteland.In regions where large- scale development without adequate consideration for the environment has caused rapid environmental destruction, we helps to restore the resulting wasteland through assistance in such areas as training in restoration technology and the development of maintenance and management systems.

Sustainable and Renewable Solar Electricity for the Poor Marginalized Rural Kenya

In poor rural Kenya, most village inhabitants do not have access to clean energy and therefore resort to using firewood, rudimentary lanterns and kerosene wick-lamps for cooking and lighting at night. RHD through its SOLAR POWER PROJECT targets all village communities in which wood cooking (open fire) is 100% the practice, with wood resources used on a daily basis in kitchens. These communities are more vulnerable to climate change effects, since many of the wood resources used are considered to be threatened species, such as the Blue Gum, which is also one of Kenya's endemic species, or they are species particularly important in the region.   Also as kerosene pose health problems to the users and remains expensive and out of reach of many households. The Solar Project is to facilitate social and economical empowerment in the poorest and most marginalized communities in the occupied Kenyan rural territories through material support and capacity building. The core of our activity is the provision of basic energy services for off-grid communities using solar in a way that is both environmentally and socially sustainable.

Through its SOLAR PROJECT, RHD aim is;

  • To determine and develop appropriate climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in forestry, other land uses, ecosystems and biodiversity management;
  • To develop and undertake capacity building, dissemination and strategic interventions for adaptation and mitigation to climate change; 
  • To assess climate change impacts on and vulnerability of ecosystem services and livelihoods under Kyoto protocol and beyond;
  • Providing alternative clean energy technologies to replace the traditional energy practices and open fires for lighting thus improving the health and standards of living of the project community.
  • Ease the burden of women and girls who are tasked with the roles of cooking for the families in smoky huts.
  • Realize household energy savings by replacing wood cooking stoves and expensive kerosene for lighting with free solar energy.
  • To contribute to curbing of climate change by introducing clean energy technologies for daily use.

RHD Sustainable Energy initiatives seek to mobilize action from all sectors of society in support of three interlinked objectives to achieve Kenya’s Vision 2030.

RHD provide training for both Men and Women in poor marginalized rural Kenya that provides      in-person, technical workshops in a supportive learning atmosphere to bring more women and men into the renewable energy field. RHD’s Solar Energy workshops are taught by [women for women and Men for Men], and are intended to provide a supportive learning atmosphere for people. Even people with hands-on experience already working in technical fields find it helpful and rewarding to network with other men and women interested in and/or working in renewable energy.

These energy services include the required hardware and the local capacity to maintain and install existing and additional systems. Although the money and know how come from outside, the ownership of the project is local in that the entire decision making is done by the community's local committee where we aim to channel our programme support.

RHD acknowledge and recognize the fact that the current access to modern energy services for the majority of the population is not only low, but will remain a key barrier to attainment of MDGs in the region.  It is now universally acknowledged and recognized in Kenya that even though energy in itself is not part of the MDGs, its development, access and use will significantly determine the level of success in achievement of the MDGs.

 

 

LATEST NEWS AND EVENTS

1.Development of a Community Water Pipping and Irrigation Project in Nyakach( Nyanza Region) Program

2. A Community Health Hospital for women in Nyando and Butere/Mumias Community Program

3. Sponsorship/ education grant to poor underprivileged, marginalized groups, orphans and needy children/people to receive schooling /education-Open Programs

4.Solar oven project in Nyakach (A project empowering rural women of Nyakach community)

5.Access to Learning through Public Libraries in Nyanza region

 

 

 
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