Access to Food and Water

Sustainable Agriculture Programming with RAIN

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Last year, Rockflower supported RAIN in their goal of achieving two of our five keys, Access to Food and Water and Economic Empowerment. The Sustainable Agriculture programming in Nassilé and Tagantassou was strengthened due to our support, particularly as the need for such a program has increased due to a difficult agricultural year in western Africa.

Nassilé began the next growing season in September by meeting to assess their past revenue and decide on a timeline of implementation. In addition to meeting, they received practical training to enhance their gardening and increase their knowledge of market economics. The garden was started by choosing a high ground settlement to avoid flooding during the heavy seasonal rains. Then the land was cleared so that it could be plowed and levelled. Irrigation was installed resulting in 72 garden beds. October saw the first transplanting of tomato, eggplant and yalo crops. In addition to these crops, the nursery beds also have lettuce, green pepper, cabbage, carrot and onion.

Nassilé

Nassilé

Tagantassou had their first meeting to discuss preparations and the successes they had last year. The women were satisfied with last year’s production, but were constrained due to a lack of well water and caterpillars invading the tomato crop. They plan to utilize a biological treatment to limit or, hopefully, stop the damage. Their second meeting included practical training and a site location for the garden. In October, 18 beds were established with onions, green pepper, lettuce, tomato, cabbage and eggplant.

Tagantassou

Tagantassou

Last year, 35 women gardeners from Tagantassou cultivated 1945 m2 of land to harvest 1034Kg of crops which supported over 1,000 Nigerians in the surrounding communities. In both Tagantassou and Nassilé, the knowledge they have gained through practical training has resulted in food security and built livelihoods. For example, in Nassilé total earned income was 198,352 FCFA (~US$345), which is significant as Nigeria’s GDP per capita is approximately US$378.

Due to the women gardeners satisfaction with last year’s production and their enthusiasm for this year’s crop yield, they are looking forward to the next phase of expansion. Two new wells will be dug in spring, one in each community, to increase access to water and enable a significant garden expansion. The expansion of this program will allow more community members to participate and for more of their, and their neighbors’, food security needs to be met.

Rockflower Partner Charlot Magayi Awarded 2nd Place in World Bank “SDGs and Her” Competition

Charlot Magayi, owner of Mukuru Clean Stoves of Kenya, (seen on the left) and Lucy Odiwa, owner of WomenChoice Industries.

Charlot Magayi, owner of Mukuru Clean Stoves of Kenya, (seen on the left) and Lucy Odiwa, owner of WomenChoice Industries.

Charlot Magayi, owner of Mukuru Clean Stoves of Kenya, was awarded second place in the World Bank’s global SDGs and Her competition. Her business addresses SDG8 (Decent Work), SDG1 (End Poverty), and SDG3 (Good Health). Magayi and Odiwa, the first place winner, were flown to New York City to attend the UN General Assembly to discuss their work and its impacts.

There were over 1,200 entries received from 88 countries. Congratulations to Charlot Magayi and Mukuru Clean Stoves of Kenya on this great recognition from the World Bank. Rockflower recognized your potential from the outset and is proud to have been an early investor in your work.

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Winning this award is a crucial validation to the work that my team and I are doing with the aim of significantly reducing household air pollution in Africa, and it boosts our commitment to making the world a better place by implementing the SDGs. The award naturally comes with the responsibility to network and share with other women business owners about my challenges and breakthroughs in running my enterprise; with the aim of sharpening each other’s business skills.
Our partnership with Rockflower was a major stepping stone in terms of enabling us to create more impact and grow our business. Through our partnership, we have directly impacted the lives of over 1000 people by providing 200 households with clean cookstoves.
— Charlot Magayi

Read the World Bank’s press release here.

Read Ideas for Action’s article about events Charlot attended here.

Progress on Food Security for Ebola Widows in Liberia

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Foundation for Women and Children Empowerment (FOWACE Inc.) has completed the first phase of their project to fund innovations for food security for widows affected by Ebola. From the first financial support they received from Rockflower, FOWACE Inc. were able to start a sustainable, environmentally-friendly food security and income generating project with 10 groups that benefited 362 people across seven towns.

With additional support from Rockflower, they will now begin phase two which will focus on expanding the gardens with additional crops to accommodate more groups, all of which are excited as they have already identified what they plan to plant.

Increasing Food Security for Widows Affected by Ebola

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Rockflower is pleased to announce a new partnership with Foundation for Women and Children Empowerment (FOWACE), a women and children-centered organization established to provide lifesaving and empowering programs for marginalized and vulnerable women and children in rural Liberia.

In the aftermath of the Ebola crisis in 2015, many women have struggled to survive due to losing their husbands, who provided vital economic support to their families. Rockflower's partnership with the FOWACE will focus on training women in vegetable garden management, providing farming tools and teaching business and marketing marketing skills.

Find out more about the Food Security for Ebola Widows project.

Rockflower Partnership to Expand Water Supply for Women Farmers in Tanzania

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Rockflower is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Mategemeo Women's Association, a non governmental organization in Tanzania promoting socio-economic development, human rights and inclusion by providing training and micro credit for women to establish their own businesses.

Rockflower's partnership with the Mategemeo Women's Association will support the sinking of four communal, shallow wells and the establishment of 2 water selling kiosks.

Find out more about the Shallow Wells for Water Security in Arusha project.

Investing in Female Founded Social Enterprise to Expand Clean Burning Stove Technology in Nairobi, Kenya

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By Investing in Mukuru Clean Stoves, a social enterprise that produces and distributes affordable, clean-burning cook stoves in Nairobi, Kenya, Rockflower is joining the growing movement to tackle the increasing problem of "dirty air" for so many in African cities. 

An article by Kwasi Gyamti Asiedu on June 28th 2018 in Quartz, references a recent study by Stanford University and the University of California, detailing the catastrophic effects of poor air quality for those in African cities, where "the causes are often hiding in plain sight - Kerosene, used in homes all over the continent to light homes and cook foods, is a deadly threat of which many people are simply unaware."

The article further notes that "[o]ther research has shown dirty air has lead to the premature deaths of 712,000 Africans each year, more than the toll of unsafe water, malnutrition and unsafe sanitation. In September last year, researchers calculated the monetary cost of air pollution in Africa for the first time: $215 billion from outdoor pollution and $232 billion from indoor pollution (based on 2013 figures)."

Innovative enterprises such as Mukuru Clean Stoves are imperative to change minds about the benefits of clean cooking.  

This first phase of Project funding will be used to:

  • Produce 200 clean burning stoves.

  • Set up a "Lease to Own" program.

  • Train up to 200 households in the proper use of clean stove technology.

Mukuru plans to make the Lease to Own program self-sufficient by using the revenue from the sale of the initial 200 stoves under the lease agreements to support further manufacture and sales.

Read more about the Mukuru Clean Stoves project and stay tuned for updates on the project's progress.

A funding campaign for the project was lead by Rockflower Youth Advisory Board member Elizabeth Hardardt.

Turning Biomass into Clean Alternative Fuels in Uganda

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Rockflower is pleased to announce a new partnership with Rwenzori United Group for Life Improvement (RUGLI), a community-based organization in Uganda focused on creating community services aimed at empowering women in various communities for sustainable development through:

  • Livelihood support/ sustainable agriculture

  • HIV/ AIDS awareness

  • Business enterprise support for women/youth

  • Support services support for the disabled, elderly and the needy

Rockflower's partnership with RUGLI will support the production of a biomass briquette initiative that will turn agro-waste and household by-products into an alternative to charcoal and fuel wood.

Find out more about the Bio Briquette Project

Expanding Clean Cooking Technology in Nairobi, Kenya

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The Mukuru Clean Stoves Project is a collaboration between Rockflower and Mukuru Clean Stoves, a social enterprise that produces affordable, clean-burning cook stoves in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Mukuru Cook Stove Project will provide funding to Mukuru Clean Stoves to significantly expand the sale and reach of Mukuru clean-burning cookstove technology through the creation of an innovative "Lease to Own" program. The project would fund:

  • The production of 200 clean burning stoves.

  • Setting up the Lease to Own" program.

  • Training to 200 households in the proper use of clean stove technology.

“Facilitating the transition to clean cooking and heating contributes to fundamental development benefits, including improving people’s health, reducing air pollution, and enabling mothers to spend more time with their families and pursue economic opportunities. The focus now is on scaling up activity through innovative market-based approaches and by mobilizing private financing, and on applying the lessons we have learned from years of engagement in the sector.”

-Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director for Energy and Extractives at the World Bank

Find out more about the Expanding Clean Cooking Technology fundraising campaign.

The Expanding Clean Cooking Technology campaign will be led by Rockflower Youth Advisory Board member Elisabeth Hardardt.

Rockflower Launches Campaign to Fund Clean Cooking Technology In Nairobi, Kenya

Rockflower partnered with the S.O.U.L Foundation to save the lives of thousands of rural, Ugandan women. This will be done through maternal health outreach by empowering and educating community members on the importance of ANC and key preventable obstetric complications that proper care can help them avoid. Through this project, S.O.U.L. will train, empower, and educate mothers and community partners and provide life-saving maternal health services.

Bringing Alternative Fuel Source From Biomass to Kasese Uganda

As part of a new partnership with Rwenzori United Group for Life Improvement (RUGLI), Rockflower invested in the launch of a Bio Briquette initiative in Kasese, Uganda.

Rockflower's partnership with RUGLI will support the production of biomass briquettes made from agro-waste and household by-products as an alternative to fuel charcoal and fuel wood.

The investment will be targeted at achieving the following objectives:

  • Add value to agro-waste and household by-products that would otherwise end-up unused, causing local waste pollution.

  • Increase the utilization of biomass resources in developing and promoting more efficient and cleaner fuel substitutes.

  • Replace the use of wood and charcoal fuels, which is a major cause of deforestation and environment degradation.

In addition, 200 families from four villages will be trained in the treatment of biomass as a source of income and the use biomass briquettes as an alternative heating and cooking fuel.

Read more about the Bio Briquette Project and stay tuned for updates on participant progress.

Rockflower Partners with Wino Village in Tanzania

Rockflower is pleased to announce a new partnership with Wino Village, Tanzania. Estimates indicate that about 70% of the population get access to water services at a distance of at least one kilometer away. This is especially challenging given that the location of the village is in a high escarpment surrounded by mountains.