Hivos East Africa

East Africa

Renewable Energy

Over the past two years, the government of Kenya has set out on an ambitious plan with regards to electrification of both households and public institutions through grid extension, resulting in astronomical jumps in connectivity of both schools and households.

Why civil society’s contribution is crucial in ensuring energy access for all

Looking back on my overwhelming first time attending a Council of the Parties (COP) at COP22 in Marrakech last November, it was filled with so many meetings, side panels, negotiations and networking opportunities that it was easy to overlook the real people affected by lack of access to energy. Acronyms were flying all over the place, COP veterans sped past us newbies to get to the next negotiation session for LTF – that’s long-term climate finance to you and me – and  little huddles of people speaking in a truly foreign language (COP-lingo) were gathered outside every meeting room and ever

You can almost see nothing inside the Manyatta (a home, often temporary of the Maasai/Samburu people). The window and only ventilation is the size of two adult hands. There is fire burning probably to keep the place lit up and warm given it is a rainy day. Even with the choking darkness one cannot fail to notice the hanging soot from the mud ceiling. At night, our host, Grace Malipe uses a kerosene wick. She has four children in school and this is their source of light as they go about their homework.

Sub-Saharan Africa alone has been more vulnerable to the effects of climate change more than ever. The Intergovernmental panel on climate change predicts that by 2020, crop yields may fall up to 50 per cent and 75-250 million people could be affected by increased water shortages. This poses a significant risk for the generations to come and deny them valuable environmental resources such as clean air and food.