Fuel: European flower buyers come to the rescue of local farm workers
Flower buyers in Europe have come to the rescue of flower farm workers by donating cooking gas cylinders and solar panels for use in their homes.
The move under the Kenya Rose project run by Fair Trade Africa is meant to address rising cases of use of unsustainable energy among the workers.
Over 4,500 workers from four flower farms in Nakuru and Murang’a counties are set to benefit from the Kenya Rose project.
This comes at a time when the prices of cooking gas have risen sharply forcing families to use firewood raising fears of eroding gains made in increasing the current forest cover.
The project has been funded by the Aldi Supermarkets in Switzerland and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland at a tune of 470,000 Euros (Sh51.86 million).
According to Marion Ng’ang’a from Fair Trade Africa, they are keen to have the workers shift from the perennial use of fuel like kerosene to clean energy.
Among the farms that would benefit from the five-year programme kitty are Aquila and Sian in Nakuru and Penta and Simbi flower farms in Murang’a County.
Ng’ang’a admitted that for years, hundreds of workers had been using conventional cooking methods, a trend that affected the environment.
Farms in Naivasha
Speaking after meeting government officers and some of the workers from the four farms in Naivasha, she said that they would benefit from cooking gas and solar panels.
She noted that the continued use of plastic and fuel was harmful to the ozone layer, adding that the current initiative had the backing of the workers and employers.
“We are targeting 4,500 workers directly and 22,000 dependents in this five year programme that will also benefit the vulnerable groups in the society,” she said.
The CEC for Agriculture in Murang’a County Albert Mwaniki, said that the project was meant to reduce green gas emissions.
He said non-clean energy sources like use of plastic was interfering with the environment and hence the move to give the workers the gas and solar kits.