Our targeted women adopting green cooking solutions
Monica Okumu is a member of Pendeza Maendeleo Women group in South East ward in Alego Usonga Sub- County, Siaya County. She is our champion in climate action having been trained in climate change advocacy and gender justice in climate action in the month of May 2022 for 4 days by Siaya Muungano Network under its Women voices in Climate action project. Monica installed energy saving cookstoves having realized the importance of using clean cooking solutions during the training. “I never knew that there was something like climate change, for me, things were normal. The changes in rainfall patterns, the high temperatures, low yields were normal to me. I never knew that I also contribute to climate change. As a mother of 4 children, I had to make sure my family eats well so most of the time while am not in my farm, I will be preparing food for my family and normally would use the three stone cooking stoves for cooking. For a long period, I would struggle with blowing fire and could breathe smoke all the time leading to chest pains, eye irritation, coughs and fever.
I was among those women mobilized and attended a training organized by Siaya Muungano Network where I and other women were trained on climate change, its causes, impacts and the solutions to climate change. We were taught on the local solutions that we can adopt as adaptation measures to climate change. Some of the causes of climate change we were told were the use of excessive firewood when cooking and we were introduced to best cooking solutions such as the energy saving jikos; jiko sasa. We were taught that it reduces exposure to harmful smoke and uses less firewood. I became interested and asked more questions about this jiko. After the training, I decided to get someone to install it in my kitchen in June 2022.
Since I started using jiko sasa, I don’t need to spend much time looking for firewood, I no longer have chest complications due to smoke because I use clean energy cooking solutions with less smoke and it also cooks faster,’ says Monica during an interview with one of Siaya Muungano Network Community Mobilizer
“If women are not fully involved in climate change adaptation and mitigation, then they will continue suffering the consequences, they should stand up and be counted as climate action champions for a better tomorrow,” Monica Okumu.