- Nathan Gachugi
Project Manaager, Viability Africa, LLC
African sustainability and the continent's contribution to climate change adaptation
There is no doubt that Africa is on an economic rise. Whereas we as a people have not yet emancipated ourselves from the poverty so well illustrated in that famous portrait of a malnourished child, with a runny nose and a swarm of undisturbed houseflies on his face, we are at that point in our historical development to truly realize the fruits of an independence brutally fought for but poorly translated to its children.
The Climate Challenge adaptation agenda in Africa is not a question of doing the right thing for industries and middle income households, it is indeed a question of the very survival of the people who are faced by the realities an increasingly harsher environment.
60% of people in the developing world live in rural areas.Despite the rapid urbanization rates in the region, an analysis of the choice of domestic energy sources is indicative of a shift from traditional biomass fuel such as cow dung and firewood to kerosene and another fossil fuel dependent energy systems. This includes National or regional electricity grids where electricity generation from hydroelectric sources is less than the sum total of natural gas and oil sources.
What is the participation of these African households in the global effort against the climate change?
The typical rural household still depends on biomass and or kerosene for domestic energy. A basic analysis of major energy consuming activities includes cooking, boiling water and lighting where the average household emits 6.78 tonnes of CO2 annually.
In my country (Kenya) alone that translates to 42.85 million tonnes of CO2 emissions that could be avoided by introducing simple technologies like zero energy water filters, LED lamps and improved cook stoves. Not only do point of use solutions like these save lives and improve the environment the present a new perspective on the real economic opportunities avaliable in Sub Saharan Africa.
Africa is now open for business - Green Sustainable Business!