Johannesburg — THOUSANDS of refugees in Kenya have received 10 000 bioethanol stoves as part of initiatives by an electronics firm to empower vulnerable communities.
Samsung Electronics, in partnership with Rural Development Solutions, has made the stoves available to households in the Kakuma refugee camp in the East African country.
Haengil Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Environment, Health and Safety Centre at Samsung Electronics, is hopeful this project helps refugees in Kenya in a meaningful way.
"Samsung Electronics will continue to carry out its responsibility as a corporate citizen with more such initiatives," Kim says.
It is anticipated the stoves will provide residents with cleaner, safer, more sustainable way to cook. Currently in Kenya, the majority of households use charcoal as fuel to cook.
This is because when burned, charcoal produces toxic fumes and leads to serious air pollution.
Broad use of charcoal leads to excessive harvesting of trees, accelerating deforestation. Bioethanol is a byproduct of sugar production which makes it a cheaper, more sustainable source of fuel.
Bioethanol which is six times more energy efficient than charcoal and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Justin Hume, Marketing Director of Samsung South Africa, says Samsung's directive to ensure people-centred innovation.
"We are pleased to be a part of this initiative, which not only helps the people who get to use these stoves, but also has a positive impact on the environment," Hume adds.
The benefiting camp is located on the outskirts of the northwestern Kakuma town, which is the headquarters for Turkana West District of Turkana County.
The camp has a population of 185 450 registered refugees and asylum-seekers at the end of January.