Updated Apr 03, 2018
Martin KailieSend Message
Firewood is a huge problem. 95% use firewood, causing pulmonary disease for women and girls who cook, and risks of injury, snake bites and rape for rural women who collect firewood. The deforestation contributes to droughts and flooding, which in turn further lowers the resilience of the subsistence farmers who depend on rain-fed agriculture. The Climate Vulnerability Index ranks Sierra Leone as "extremely at risk". In August 2017, flooding and mudslides killed over 1000 people.
We offer cassava-based ethanol for cook stoves to create access to clean energy for the urban poor, save the forests and build sustainability through climate-smart farm business for poor women farmers. Cassava feedstock is appropriate for ethanol production because it is drought and flood resistant, has high starch content and cheap to produce. It could therefore be used to support poor women farmers to adapt to climate change. Also it can reduce pulmonary disease because it burns clean.
The solution is innovative in several ways. First it uses of cassava for ethanol production. Traditionally, ethanol producers use corn (USA)or sugar cane (Brazil). Cassava is a better source of ethanol due to high starch content, low production costs and climate smart advantages. Second, we will work with women farmers as feedstock producers, to move them from firewood production to a more sustainable farm business development. Desert Water is a cooperative social enterprise model, meaning that feedstock producers will own some amount of the social enterprise. The cook stoves will be provided or fabricated by partners who will also be in business. The project thinks big because it is designed to disrupt the market for energy for cooking in Sierra Leone and other West African countries at scale. After startup the project will target 10% of the market in Sierra Leone (100,000 users), but will be expected to speedily scale to 1,000,000 users in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea within 5 years.
|New Implemented Countries||Sierra Leone|
|Recruit||3 graduate students from UC Davis for the pilot study in Sierra Leone.|