Request for Issuance Now Public

What a fantastic day as Simoshi’s first carbon credits are now in the final leg of a long and unimaginable journey. The request for issuance of 8,457 certified emission reductions is now public, and if no request for review is issued from either Simoshi or any three UNFCCC’s Executive Board members, the carbon credits will be issued on Tuesday 19 of November at 17:00 hours GMT.

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Carbon Markets and Carbon Financing

The conference “Carbon Markets and Carbon Financing: Managing the transition from Kyoto to Paris. What is in for East Africa?” is currently taking place in Addis Ababa, supported by the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and in collaboration with Energising Development (EnDev) Ethiopia, with support from Irish Aid, and the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre in Kampala.

We are participating and engaging in interesting and technical discussions as the carbon markets evolve into the new post 2020 phase. It has been a great opportunity to network with individuals from diverse sectors such as private sector, international donors, government and NGOs from Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and the host country Ethiopia.

The main aim of this dialogue is to provide us participants with an improved understanding of the new generation of carbon markets and climate finance instruments of the Paris Agreement. While jointly reflecting on the successes and failures generated by the Kyoto mechanisms to provide input to the on-going rule-setting for the Paris Agreement instruments, as well as preparations by East African countries for accessing these funding sources.

I am sharing some pictures of the event and the programme which gives you clear ideas of the presentations made.


With the Wakiso District Teachers Association

Yesterday we have been invited by the Chairman of the Wakiso Ditrict Teachers Association, Mrs Rose Nakato, to present Simoshi’s Project Activity during their quarterly meeting. Mrs Nakato happens to also be the Head Mistress at St. Dominic Kigo Lunya Primary School, a recently added school that is now using the institutional improved cook stoves (IICS) for all of their cooking activities.

The school is so pleased with the IICS performance that Mrs Nakato felt the urgency to tell her colleagues about the benefits of collaborating with Simoshi. So yesterday I briefly explained about what we do, how the IICS can improve the school kitchen environment, the achievable firewood savings, and the financing provided to allow schools to pay back for their IICS through the firewood not purchased.

Below are some images of the meeting and pictures from the kitchen at St. Dominic Kigo Lunya before, and after Simoshi’s intervention, and some from the presentation made.

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the kitchen before

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the kitchen after

9 SDG Goals Achieved by our Project Activity

In September 2015, the General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Building on the principle of “leaving no one behind”, the new Agenda emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all.

Simoshi’s Institutional Improved Cook Stoves for Schools and Institutions in Uganda’s Project Activity achieves 9 out of the 17 SDG goals, and below is a table with an explanation on how the project has an impact on the most relevant SDG targets for each of those goals.

SDG 1 – No poverty | Measurement Method: school bursars are usually responsible for all firewood purchases during the school term. Simoshi monitors these firewood expenditures right at the beginning during the baseline survey it conducts in each school, and after the IICS have been deployed. Simoshi collects the amount of firewood spent at the end of each school term and monitors that savings are still achieved compared to the baseline expenditure through the “School Term Update” form.

SDG 3 – Good health and well-being | Measurement Method: The perception of members of the school/institution (staff responsible for cooking) concerning air quality after the introduction of IICS evaluated quarterly on the basis of the results of the “Kitchen Information Update” survey. The question is “How do you perceive air quality when using an IICS?”. The enumerators are instructed to elaborate this question further by asking detailed questions (perceived smoke level, incidents of coughing, respiratory illness, eye infections, etc.).

SDG 4 – Quality education | Measurement Method: Simoshi’s service-oriented approach provides better perceptions and outcomes from users, promoting a positive behavioral change in the kitchen. On-going training and free IICS annual maintenance are the added on values necessary for the behavioral transition to happen. Simoshi empowers the kitchen staff (usually neglected by school managers, badly remunerated and working in unhealthy and poor environments) through the continuous training and monitoring model, following the “Kitchen Management Techniques” and “Firewood Best Practice Manual”, and the “Kitchen Training Assessment” to improve the overall conditions and safety of the kitchen environment.

SDG 5 – Gender equality | Measurement Method: Cooks are usually women who play an instrumental role in raising awareness between their peers and community members about the dangers of utilizing traditional cooking methods. Addressing gender issues in clean energy recognizes that women are key players in health, environmental, economic and climate change issues. Clean cooking results in tangible impacts for women and girls. They play a crucial leadership role in the adoption and use of clean cooking solutions.

SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy | Measurement Method: Number of schools and institutions with IICS in year y. Sales database and usage survey to confirm the amount of IICS in use and number of participating schools/institutions.

SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth | Measurement Method: Employment records including evidence for income generation collected by Simoshi for workers involved in the IICS chain. These include stove manufacturers, vendors, data clerks and project officers, extension workers, where applicable. Documents may include employment contracts, payment slips, employment lists and others. Labour standards on sexual harassment and compliance with health and safety guidelines.

SDG 13 – Climate action | Measurement Method: the emission reduction  parameter is calculated as a result of IICS meeting the minimum thermal efficiency requirement of 20%. This efficiency is translated into fuel savings compared to traditional stoves used in Uganda. This reduction in fuel consumption is estimated and corresponding CO2 emission reductions are calculated from these savings. The emission reductions are calculated as per the registered PDD and as per the methodology requirement.

SDG 15 – Life on land | Measurement Method: Simoshi ensures that IICS models from the selected IICS manufacturers are of similar design, following Simoshi’s Quality Assurance and Quality Control Manual (which includes consistency in manufacturing practices and materials used) and Simoshi’s Maintenance Manual that demonstrates comparable maintenance and repair practices on all IICS included under the project activity to ensure the maximum firewood savings are achieved.

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals | Measurement Method: number of Kampala Capital City Authority schools included under the Project Activity, as part of the mutual efforts to move government schools away from traditional cooking practices.

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On Site Visit

All of last week we have hosted the Designated Operational Entity (UN Auditor) Mr. Chetan Sharma from KBS in India. This is part of the necessary activities as we conduct our verification exercise to obtain Simoshi’s first carbon credits from the registered CDM and Gold Standard Project Activity “Institutional Improved Cook Stoves for Schools and Institutions in Uganda”.

Chetan was joined by the local expert Ms. Gloria Namazzi, and together we visited 21 schools using the institutional improved cook stoves for all of their cooking activities. We are sharing images taken at some of the visited schools, which were randomly selected from the Kampala, Wakiso, Mityana, Masaka and Mukono districts.

Praise the Team

A big clap to our Project Officers who are in the field every day promoting the use of the household improved cook stoves (ICS) to teachers in schools. Their energy and happiness is reflected every day by the amazing sales they make. A good product alone would never be enough to be sold by its own if it wasn’t for their fantastic technique and marketing skills. Below are some of our colleagues early this morning getting ready for another day at work.

A Day In The Field

We welcome Naty who has joined us to help Simoshi with its internal financial procedures, as well as being the focal point with the marketing and sales of the project carbon credits. Yesterday we spent all day long in the field visiting Kamwokya Primary School, while monitoring the use of their institutional improved cook stoves (IICS) in the school kitchen.

We are in the process of upgrading our accounting system so it can be merged to our IT infrastructure, therefore we also paid a visit to the Kenga developer, OMNI-TECH. Below are some few pictures of our activities yesterday.

First Verification Process Started

These past couple of months we have been very busy taking our Project Activity where it should be: getting our first carbon credits. Simoshi’s first monitoring report has now been uploaded onto the CDM website. We have calculated a total of 8,823 emission reductions from the period 1 March 2017 until 31 May 2019.

The verification is now officially on, and the Designated Operational Entity (DOE or UN auditor) KBS will be visiting our project next month as part of the verification process, until the final verification report is provided and submitted to the UN Executive Board.

Let’s get our energy in the right direction with the stars aligned, so that we have a smooth month ahead.

Happy Cooks at Kabowa Curch of Uganda

Thank you to our partner the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) for commissioning the video below, produced by Edcom Filmz and Fireworks. It is a short presentation about our activities showcasing the benefits and views of the cooks and the head teacher at the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) primary school Kabowa Church of Uganda.

May Was All About Testing

We wanted to share some of the pictures of the testing exercise that has taken place throughout the month of May. Many institutional improved cook stoves (IICS) of 30 litres capacity were temporarily collected from the schools that had purchased them back in 2016. We had chosen this month because the schools had closed for holidays so the IICS would not be needed in the kitchen.

The IICS were all tested following the international Water Boiling Test protocol to ensure that their thermal efficiency is still way above the minimum 20% requirement (as explained on our blog post below). Even after 3 full years of operation cooking in busy kitchens, which they successfully did!

This means the IICS and schools are still saving at least 50% of firewood when compared to their previous traditional systems. That was achieved thanks to Simoshi’s free annual maintenance provided too all IICS and schools participating under its Project Activity.

Testing No Matter What

I often read messages in Facebook of people asking for advice on institutional improved cook stoves (IICS) and readers unfortunately leave their comments based based purely on subjective views about certain stove bands or manufacturers.

The fact is that scientific tests are the only way to ensure 100% of quality - for efficiency, durability and safety. For this reason, the IICS disseminated at SImoshi are tested following strict international standards. Because Simoshi’s Project Activity is registered with the Clean Development Mechanism and the Gold Standard, it not only requires that IICS are tested following the Water Boiling Test to ensure a minimum thermal efficiency of 20% (equivalent to 50% fuel savings), but also that further tests are performed to ensure a sustained manufacturing standard in quality assurance and quality control measures. Therefore materials used in the manufacturing process such as the clay and the maica (insulation) are tested every year at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute to ensure that a minimum amount of alumina content is found in both.

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New Video Out Soon

The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has commissioned a new video that will showcase the projects currently funded under their Renewable Energy Challenge Fund. Fireworks and Edcom Filmz will be responsible for the work. As a grantee for such programme, yesterday we all visited Kabowa Curch of Uganda Primary School for some filming and interviews to the Head Mistress and the kitchen staff, and a visit to the kitchen that was in full swing preparing lunch for the children.

Time for Auditing

Sorry for the silence! This month nothing has changed from our daily field work - we are busy as usual. As we approach the end of April, we also approach the end of the first school term (there are three terms in the Ugandan curriculum). Which means we are also checking on every single institutional improved cook stove’s condition as we take advantage of the holidays in May to provide the free annual maintenance as children stay home.

We are also undergoing some auditing exercises: our internal Simoshi mini audit of our accounts with Base Associates, the World Bank’s funded project audited by KPMG in Uganda (see picture below) and soon entering into our first ever verification exercise (sort of an auditing) with the Designated Operational Entity KBS for our carbon finance Project Activity. Exciting times for us - let alone the swimming in paper, but indeed looking forward to seeing the outcomes.

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Men Are Also In The Kitchen

This week we have deployed institutional improved cook stoves (IICS) for the KCCA Military Police primary school. This school of 630 children is located inside the military barracks. As such, the kitchen is shared where food is cooked for the children, the hospital, the prison and the military.

This is a huge space that is using a mix of traditional 3-stone fires and old stoves that were once supposed to be improved, but with time and no maintenance in place, they ended up all broken and consuming as much firewood as a traditional one.


We conducted training to all military officers responsible for the cooking activities. Despite having twoIICS now for the cooking needs of the primary school, we still hope that all of the cooking in the military barracks will be also made with new IICS as the Commander will be monitoring Simoshi’s performance in the coming months.

St. Pius Masajja Primary School

St. Pias is a new primary school that has recently joined our Project Activity. This is a typical example of a school in Kampala, cooking with 3-stone fires. But with the efforts made from the head teacher Harriet (pictured below) and the financing provided by Simoshi, the school is now cooking with 3 institutional improved cook stoves (IICS), saving ugx 600,000 per school term. The pictures below were taken last month in February, and yesterday repectively, as we went to monitor how the cook staff was feeling with the new IICS. No more words needed, the images below speak for themselves……

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

Back to School, Sales are On

Children went back to school early this month. That means our monitoring activities for the big institutional improved cook stoves are now taking place, as we collect all indicators needed for our carbon finance Project Activity. Some indicators include the use of traditional stoves in the kitchens, the quality of the air, tainning of the kitchen staff, the size of the firewood used in the IICS, the higiene in the kitchen, the amount of firewood spent during the term, etc.

On the other hand, marketing and sales of the small household improved cook stoves are also back on track, and our Project Officers are busy with teachers during their coffee breaks and lunch hour promoting the dual fuel Ugastove brand.

Green School NAMA in Uganda

Over the past couple of years we have been writing about the progress being made by the Green School NAMA in Uganda, pre-selected under the NAMA Facility’s 4th call. Designed to provide access to finance to upscale the institutional improved cook stoves uptake in schools in Uganda, the application made by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and UNDP is no longer competing. This is indeed sad news as the technology is desperately needed. Although no official communication has been made yet, we have received a call from the NAMA Facility’s headquarters in Germany to respond to our inquiry of such progress, and were communicated that the proposal is no longer being processed.

Maintenance is On!

This is the season when at Simoshi our colleague Masereka is busy like a bee. As part of our Project Activity obligations with the schools, we provide free annual maintenance to all institutional improved cook stoves (IICS).

Most schools will be starting the new school calendar year on the 4th of February. Therefore we are busy finalising with the last remaining schools.

Some of our participating schools have got their IICS entering their fourth year of operation. Because of the free annual maintenance we provide, the IICS are still performing as day one when the IICS were first deployed, with schools still making the same firewood savings like right from the start.

New Year Resolutions

A Happy New Year to all our readers. We hope everyone had a great start of the 2019. At Simoshi, we are looking forward to getting new schools added under our Project Activity. As previously mentioned in our former posts, this year we will be focusing on securing funding to include another 200 schools, while also dedicating efforts in sensitising school communities on the use of the same energy efficient technology within their households.

Both projects are our priority for this new year, and we look forward to sharing exciting news from the field.

CO2 Emission Reductions Achieved

As we approach the end of 2018, and while the Climate Change Conference (COP24) taking place in Poland comes to an end today, we would like to publish Simoshi’s latest achievements with its registered Clean Development Mechanism and Gold Standard Project Activity (PA) “Institutional Improved Cook Stoves for Schools and Institutions in Uganda”.

Since March 2016 when the first school joined Simoshi’s PA by moving away from the traditional cooking practices to energy efficient cook stoves, a total of 54 schools (day and boarding, primary and secondary) are currently jointly making amazing firewood reductions on their daily cooking activities.

Such firewood reductions are equivalent to 8,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide that have not been released into the atmosphere (as shown on the carbon credit timeline figure below).

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The 8,400 tonnes of CO2 reduced are an example of all participating schools and Simoshi’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that have been achieved in a sustainable way. The positive impact translates into huge economic benefits as schools reduce to half their firewood expenditures, a quantified on-going reduction of CO2 emissions and deforestation, and cleaner air that reduces the exposure to air pollution and the associated burden of disease.

Our target of including an additional 200 schools to the existing population is an achievable goal, and we hope we will be able to secure the necessary funding to finance the purchase of the institutional improved cook stoves to schools as we enter into the new year.