Eco-Stove Business Training Enables 20-year-old Famata Enroll In University

20-year-old
college student Famata K. Boakai has broken the Green Gold Liberia record
as the highest distributor or
sales agent of the locally produced energy-efficient cookstoves following a
two-month intensive training supported by the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) with funding from UNDP.

Operating
from her mother’s clothes business at the Waterside General Market in Monrovia,
she has sold over 120 eco-cookstoves.

Famata who is
also the mother of a 3-yr old son, narrates that the training has changed her
life. With the 10 percent she receives as commission on the sale of each cook
stove, she has been able to enroll at the University of Liberia where she is
reading accounting and management.

“The training
was great, and I learned and have gained a lot from it. I was just staying at
home doing nothing after graduating from high school last year. I believe that Green
Gold found interest in me that was why I was called to be one of the sales
agents. The training has changed my life in the sense that that I am no longer
less busy. My little commission helped me pay for my entrance fees to enter the
university, assists with transportation fares to and from school and the
purchase of some school supplies and reading materials,” exclaimed Famatta.

She has
developed a credit payment plan. Customers make requests for the quantity they
need and agree to pay LRD 100 daily toward the credit. Famatta gets 4-6 of such
requests daily.

She also
attracts customers through a sensitization scheme on the benefits of the
energy-efficient cookstoves that she conducts in the market, which Famatta
noted is also used as feedback mechanism on the use of the stove by customers
who buy and use them.

“This method
has worked very well not only in attracting and encouraging more customers to
buy and use the stoves but the positive feedback from customers that the use of
the stove has reduced the high cost associated with the purchase of regular
coal for cooking purposes is an added value”.

The General
Manager for Green Gold Liberia Morris Dougba, applauded the support from UNDP
and its Partners, pledging to remain committed to the full implementation of
the programme.

“This young
lady who recently enrolled at the University of Liberia has broken our record
as the highest distributor or sales agent of our eco stoves. This is possible
in my view due to the passion she brings to the job and her desire to be
financially independent,” said Dougba.

UNDP, through
its Energy and Environment (E&E) Programme is working with the EPA and
other partners to support vulnerable coastal communities through training on
the production of energy efficient cook stoves.

Famatta was part
of the first batch of forty women ambassadors trained in the production of the
first set of over 400 pieces of the energy-efficient cookstoves after being
nudged to participate, and eventually became a sales agent.

The
intervention is linked to improving livelihoods and promoting diversification
and access to renewable energy by using innovative and sustainable methods to
reduce deforestation and access clean energy.

It is also
important for the successful implementation of Liberia’s Nationally Determined
Contributions (NDCs) which has as one of its targets, the production of three
hundred thousand (300,000) eco-stoves or energy efficient cook-stoves by 2030.

It is part of
efforts to fight against an increase in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. The
use of traditional cookstoves impacts the health and well-being of poor families
as well as the natural environment because the cutting down of trees to use as
firewood and charcoal leads to deforestation and an increase in GHG emissions.

The use of energy
efficient cookstoves reduces the quantity of wood and or charcoal used for
cooking and heating and promotes a safe and healthy cooking environment with
less smoke that affects the eyes and lungs.

Charcoal and firewood
are the main sources of energy for cooking and heating for an estimated 95
percent of Liberia’s population. The unsustainable methods of production and
usage are major drivers of deforestation in Liberia.

Only two percent of
the population have access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking
according to a World Bank report.

Author

  • M-News Africa

    M-News Africa is an online magazine that reports trending issues, politics, tourism, investigative reporting, Environmental, Marine Ecosystem, Human Rights, Human Interest and other cross-cutting issues. Contact us: +231 775 552 553; editor@mnewsafrica.com; info@mnewsafrica.com; Carey and Center Streets Intersection, Monrovia

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About M-News Africa 740 Articles
M-News Africa is an online magazine that reports trending issues, politics, tourism, investigative reporting, Environmental, Marine Ecosystem, Human Rights, Human Interest and other cross-cutting issues. Contact us: +231 775 552 553; editor@mnewsafrica.com; info@mnewsafrica.com; Carey and Center Streets Intersection, Monrovia