Quality Assurance & Quality Control

Ugastove and Simoshi have jointly developped a Quality Assurance and Quality Control Manual for the production of the institutional improved cook stoves (IICS). This manual has been included in Simoshi’s CDM and Gold Standard Project Activity, which includes practices to be undertaken for all IICS deployed in participating schools.

The manual is a comprehensive guide that includes a detailed table with dimensions on the firebox chamber, thickness of different metal sheets used and reinforcement areas, ratios for the mixture of clay, mica, sand, cement and water for insulation materials, percentages of allumina content found in maica and clay, etc.

Therefore periodic training is undertaking with Ugastove and Simoshi’s team, to ensure that all guidelines are followed during the manufacturing of the IICS. Moreover, a Simoshi staff also performs a final check as IICS get ready for delivery.

Training at Ugastove’s office

Training at Ugastove’s office

IICS Quality Assurance and Control Assessment

IICS Quality Assurance and Control Assessment

Sensitising Everyone at School

Whether inside the classroom, or under a tree, Simoshi’s Project Officers are busy every day visiting schools and sensitising teachers and school staff about the benefits of using an energy efficient cook stove. We wanted to share some pictures of our daily activities, and the pleasure of seeing the uptake of the improved cook stoves (ICS)……both women and men taking their ICS home, to make a positive impact on their income and the environment.

An improved cook stove gets a new home

An improved cook stove gets a new home

Children Cooperate and Learn

As part of the training we provide to those schools participating under our programme, special attention is given to the management of firewood. We developed the “Firewood best practice manual”, which focuses on how to best manage the amount of energy stored in firewood.

The main goal is to get schools to burn dry firewood for their daily cooking activities. Unfortunately, the firewood available in Uganda for schools to purchase is wet, which results in a decrease in its energetic value, while also burning at an inefficient combustion, generating a lot of smoke and an unhealthy environment for cooks and children.

Yesterday we found the children at Kabowa Church of Uganda Primary School helping with sorting the firewood recently purchased. The boys had the responsibility of bringing it inside the kitchen firewood shelter. Children know that to get the most heat value, the school needs to stack the firewood in piles, off the ground, in a covered storage, opened on the sides, to prevent from getting wet from the rain. Children have learnt that by following some simple procedures, and planning ahead, the firewood water content can reduce from 50% when purchased to 30% after 6 months, and 15% after one year, while the energetic value doubles. Here below are some pictures of the boys in action!

UNCDF Team Uganda at Simoshi

This week we had the pleasure to host two members from the UNCDF CleanStart program team, Edirisa Sembatya and Teresa Le. They are currently performing an assessment on Simoshi’s operations and needs, to determine areas in our model that might need further technical assistance. We share some pictures of their visit, while also posing with their Green Gloria t-shirts from the school promotional campaign.

One Thousand Ready for Sale

We have received 1,000 Ugastove household improved cook stoves (ICS) and are now ready to be sold by end of next month. From the factory to Simoshi's office in Kajjansi, ICS are well stocked and will be marketed and sold within Simoshi's schools network.

Four New Institutions Have Joined

During the month of August, four new schools/institutions have joined our programme. Two public, the other two private. One of the public schools, Makerere University Primary School, has been supported by Citibank, while the other remaining three have made the fantastic effort to channel their finances towards improving their cooking practices. We welcome Makerere University Primary School, Unique Uniforms, Kawemba Preparatory and St. Maria Goretti Ssumbwe Primary School and look forward to our long relationship, seeing them transition to cleaner, healthier and safer kitchen environments.

Training Loan Officers

Our superstar Angella was at Centenary Bank head office today, training over 30 new loan officers that will be promoting institutional improved cook stoves across the country. Angella, together with other bank partners dealing in solar products, spent the day talking to a group of enthusiastic Ugandans about the benefits accrued from the use of improved cook stoves. This will be a great opportunity for Simoshi to further expand the energy NIL program with the bank.

Sensitising Clean Cooking at Schools

We want to thank Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Director of Education Ms. Juliet Namuddu, for allowing us to make a presentation about clean cooking during their end of term meeting with Head Teachers and school directors of secondary schools, yesterday afternoon at Old School Kampala S.S.S.

Today the same event will take place with primary schools at Kitante Primary School. This is a fantastic opportunity to introduce the use of institutional improved cook stoves and while making a swift transition to cleaner, healthier and safer environment. Together with Rehema Nakyazzee from Ugastove and Abdul Kyanika from Centenary Bank, we discussed throughout the afternoon with many attendants interested in learning more about this effective cooking approach.

Progress of the Green School NAMA

During the past 10 months, UNDP has been supporting the development of the "Green School NAMA" to address the high consumption of firewood in schools in Uganda and its resultant effects on the national forest reserves and the green house gas (GHG) emissions. The process of securing funding from the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) Facility has so far passed the first assessment stage and has got the approval of the full size proposal valued at USD 15 million for the next five years. Such fund is intended to reduce GHG emissions through the introduction of institutional improved cook stoves (IICS) in 15,750 schools in Uganda.

Back in January 2017 we wrote about the visit Simoshi received of the NAMA auditors as the "Green School NAMA" was being validated.

Last week CIRCODU held a "Stove Manufacturer and Tester Training" as a result of the above, to prepare the sector on the Green School NAMA call for Expression of Interest, as different organisations prepare for their submissions.

My Mum is a Super Hero like Green Gloria

We are very exited to introduce Green Gloria to Simoshi's current marketing activities. Green Gloria is a six year old vigilante with super powers on a mission to protect the environment. Her alter ego is Gloria, a little ordinary school-going nerd who is close to invisible to her classmates. No one suspects her double life. Along the way, she is confronted by many nemeses; entities, some hell bent on achieving personal ambitions even at the expense of the environment; others, downright psychopaths who derive their thrill from instigating chaos.

Artist Ben and his creation Green Gloria

Artist Ben and his creation Green Gloria

Green Gloria is the creation of Ugandan cartoonist and illustrator, Benjamin Buhamizo. The comic was awarded by the Embassy of Sweden in Kampala during their "Facing the Climate" competition in 2017, and has run in the New Vision's Toto magazine every Wednesday since then. We have launched our new marketing activity for those schools involved in the promotion and sale of the dual fuel household improved cook stove (ICS). With the purchase of the ICS, parents can now receive a free t-shirt with the Green Gloria superhero on it.

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A Student Champion proudly wearing his t-shirt at Golden Learning Centre in Mityana

A Student Champion proudly wearing his t-shirt at Golden Learning Centre in Mityana

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Source of the Nile Agricultural Show in Jinja

Simoshi together with Ugastove is participating this year on the Source of the Nile Jinja Agricultural Show organised by the Uganda National Farmers Federation, which started last Friday and will be running until Sunday 22 of July.

The theme of this years' show is "Fostering Agricultural Value Chains Innovations for Farmer Led Food Security, Household Income and Job Creation". We would like to share some images from the even and our stall, all thanks to UNCDF's contribution which had made such stall exhibition possible.

Climate Change Dialogue

We attended the Climate Change Dialogue this month, hosted by the Ministry of Water and Environment and the Embassy of Sweden at the Protea Hotel in Kampala.

Fruitful discussions were held as different organisations presented their tangible outputs and proposals as we aim to reduce the impact on the environment and work towards combating climate change in their different capacities.

Bad Kitchens, Beautiful Smiles

Efforts are on-going as we push to convince schools to move away from unhealthy and unsuitable kitchen environments. We wanted to share the pictures of the school visited yesterday, a privately owned school with 800 primary children. The stoves used are in a deplorable condition, while the school is spending the crazy amount of UGX 1,200,000 on firewood per term for their cooking activities. Despite all, children are happy and eat their daily posho and beans.

We Welcome Angella to the Team

Angella Mbabazi has joined our team to help promote and sell improved cook stoves at both schools and households. Her degree in Agricultural Rural Innovation and past experience in community training in rural areas promoting sustainable agricultural practices and mobile phone applications, will be very useful to us as we would want to further invest in promoting urban farming activities within schools. We look forward to working with her, learning with her!

Selling More

Schools have now closed and children are enjoying their well deserved holidays. Classes will resume at the end of this month to commence Term II.

At Simoshi we have successfully achieved the sale of the first 500 dual fuel improved cook stoves (ICS) within the schools participating under Simoshi's Project Activity.

During this holiday period, our staff is designing new marketing activities to implement with School Agents and Student Champions within the classrooms, to further engage parents to move away from their traditional cooking practices.

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As we learned many lessons during Term I on our marketing and promotion of ICS, we have got new ideas to add onto the existing activities to reach the next target of 1,000 ICS to be sold.



Earth Day Celebrations

Today it has been a very special day as we participated in the International Children's Climate Change Conference organised by Little hands Go Green at Ntinda School for the Deaf.

Simoshi had the honor to answer to some of the super smart questions posed by many of the children attending from different schools while sharing the stage with Honorable Minister of Environment Ms. Maria Goretti Kituku.

We also had the opportunity to promote the Ugastove Dual Fuel household improved cook stove, with a stall that caught the attention of visitors as we boiled tea and offered yummy waffles made that same morning!

Achievements from Continuous Training

It is such a pleasure to see schools grasping positively all concepts related to a clean kitchen environment and firewood savings. As part of our monthly training provided to all kitchen staff and school management, we teach them how to best utilise the firewood purchased in the institutional improved cook stoves.

I was not aware that for firewood to properly dry its water content, it needs a full year! As a result of this fantastic video from FAO on the efficeint use of firewood, we developed our "Firewood Management Techniques". The pictures below from St. Paul Buloba Primary School and KCCA Kitebi Primary School speak for themselves.

Public Schools Climate Champions Award Ceremony

Today we had the pleasure to attend to one of the many climate change initiatives KCCA fosters and supports, empowering children to become conscious about their surrounding environment, at Kitante amphitheater.

It was such a joy to see the children proudly present their environmentally friendly projects, from fuel briquettes made out of waste, to biogas digesters, toys made out of plastic bags, herbal medicine, jewellery, and much more.

Nakivubo Blue Primary School won the competition, and the prize included 4 new institutional improved cook stoves (IICS) for their kitchen. We are so excited to be adding a new KCCA school under our carbon financing Project Activity! This means their new IICS will be receiving free annual maintenance for the next 5 years, ensuring the firewood savings are kept to a maximum. I will be at the school tomorrow measuring their saucepans, and will be posting again as the school makes the transition in their cooking practices and habits.



First Delivery of 500 Dual Fuel Stoves

Last week we collected 500 Dual Fuel improved cook stoves at Ugastove's factory in Makindye. As part of the United Nations Capital Development Fund programme, we have now officially started to promote and disseminate the energy efficiency cooking technology in schools participating under Simoshi's Clean Development Mechanism and Gold Standard Project Activity. We will be extending the knowledge of what the schools have already been using for the past years, to the homes of those same children attending school.

We made the first storage unit for 25 dual fuel stoves with the welder located right beside our office, and we loved the first sample. On Sunday, the storage unit was delivered at Gangu Muslim primary school as they were having their first parent visitation day of the school year. We will be disseminating a further 3 more storage units this week and we look forward to sharing more stories about our marketing approach, tools and outcome.

Partnership with Centenary Bank

Simoshi has formalised its partnership with Centenary Bank to further extend the number of schools included under its registered Clean Development Mechanism and Gold Standard Project Activity "Institutional Improved Cook Stoves for Schools and Institutions in Uganda".

Simoshi will target 70 new schools during 2018 that will be able to change their cooking practices by accessing Energy4Impact's loan scheme (HIL) managed by Centenary Bank. We share below some images of our recent visit to a school in Kampala together with Paul Byamugisha, Centenary Bank's credit supervisor.