Transforming the African Cooking Environment – One vibrant community at a time!

Posted by on September 5th, 2014

By: Ian Oluoch | @boyokuku

Organization: GreenChar

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“Mmmh! That’s got to be the best meal I have tasted in my entire life.” I say this as I lay down my plate, licking my fingers and trying to salvage what’s left of the scrumptious meal I just had. What I don’t know however is how it was prepared. And so my curiosity overcomes me and I decide to do some research. I head back to the woman who prepared this meal to ask her how it is she can prepare such a tasteful and delicious meal. What I find out shocks me.

While we enjoy what she cooks, she doesn’t seem to enjoy cooking it. I cannot blame her. The moment I enter her kitchen, my eyes almost pop out with pain from the seamlessly endless stream of smoke that her firewood emits from the three stone cook stove. I am shocked that she has to go through all this to prepare just a meal. What follows next – she narrates a story about how she lost her cousin who worked at a nearby hotel cooking the food that was served to customers. “Daktari nowacho ni notho niketch wach mar kore –“she explains in her Luo dialect. “The doctors say she died of a problem with her lungs”.

Every 16 seconds a person dies due to indoor air pollution by wood fuels all over the world. This is worse than Malaria. Yet cooking should be fun.

At GreenChar, we aim to transform the cooking environment and make it safe, healthy and fun. That is why we produce eco-friendly smokeless yet long lasting charcoal that is made from revitalized agricultural wastes thus enabling a fun cooking environment while still saving trees.

Sound is the production of continuous and regular vibrations. Vibrations. One at a time. One vibrant community at a time! That is the sound we at GreenChar are sending out to the world.

It takes just one vibration to start a wave of vibrations and create melodious sound effects. We started with the wave of awareness. Starting out in Migori County, Kenya, We made it our goal to ensure the communities that reside here know the adverse effects of cooking using firewood or wood charcoal. This effort has gone a long way in changing mindsets and educating people that we can have a quality yet affordable alternative to our household energy needs with solutions like GreenChar’s products.

After awareness, action followed swiftly. In less than six months, managing to save around 8000 kg of trees is surely a sign that communities have taken action and decided to redefine their entire cooking experience by going green and clean.

Many people can now live healthy lives and most importantly, have fun in their kitchens! We have just begun the wave of vibrations and soon, all 42 communities of Kenya will vibrate and the sound will be too good that it will echo to the whole world.