W4W will work with the community members to increase the uptake of renewable energy as a means of conserving the environment. As a rural community, most households depend on firewood as their main source of energy for household. This has resulted in rampant deforestation and even with replanting efforts, the new trees are not sufficient to meet the needs of the community. In addition, the constant use of firewood has been known to cause respiratory illness and the most affected are the women and girls who spend most of their time in the kitchen cooking. As children both boys and girls use the light from the cooking fire as a source of light while studying and doing other chores at night, their eyesight and general health is also affected.
The Maa people are herders with every family having a sizable herd of cows. W4W will work with the community members to produce bio-gas for home and school use. Dairy waste is a great source of feedstock for digesters as cow dung has high water content and this results into production of high contents of bio-gas. The bio-gas can be used for both cooking and lighting thus replacing fuel wood and cow dung. The use of biogas will reduce the work load for women and children, reduce respiratory illnesses from wood smoke and reduce CO2 emissions into the environment. Firewood use also leads to forest degradation thus reducing natural habitats for wildlife. Wild animals sometimes attack women and children as they collect firewood in the thickets. The slurry from the biogas unit is useful as manure. With a little sensitization, families can start vegetable gardens. The diet of the community has always been about meat and milk. Adding vegetables can go a long way in improving their health.
The initial cost of setting up a biogas unit in Kenya is around USD 800 which is prohibitive for practically every family in Lemek area. But once it's up and running, it is virtually free. Water4Wildlife Mara is therefore looking for partners to help families living in the area start this life-changing project. Let's do it for the health of Lemek community, the conservation of the environment and the future of the wildlife in Maasai Mara.
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