African savannah, clouds and acacia trees

Just because acacia trees are beautiful. Clouds are beautiful. The African savannah is beautiful. And the circle of life is beautiful.

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done

Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give

In the circle of life
It’s the wheel of fortune
It’s the leap of faith
It’s the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life

Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars

There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round


The circle of life

During our stay in Kenya we saved our money for the park of the wildlife parks; the Masai Mara. It is one of the biggest wildlife parks in Kenya and the one with the highest wildlife concentration, especially regarding lions. So we had to take a lot of pictures, which resulted in empty batteries and full memory cards (6 Gb) in the end.
This was the time of the year of one of the 7 natural world wonders; the great migration. The time of the day the wildebeests and zebras cross the Mara river is not to prospect, so unfortunately we were no witnesses to the mass crossing. Anyway, the other wildlife we saw were majestic and the scenery likewise. It was amazing to be so close with the circle of life; a hunting lion and hunting hunting dogs, two times a cheetah, a leopard, elephants and lots of buffalos, wildebeests, giraffes, zebras and antilopes.

Improved cookstoves

Finally a post about stoves, the actual reason we are here. Almost half of the world’s population is relying on solid fuels for cooking, mainly burned on inefficient open fires and traditional stoves. What many people don’t know is that the arising smoke causes acute respiratory infections (ARI) by mainly women and children, leading up to 2 million deaths every year on a global scale (in comparison; 1.7 million are dying from AIDS-related causes). Poor households in rural and peri-urban areas do not have an alternative source of energy besides biomass, since there is a lack of availability and affordability of alternative energy sources and limited access to electricity. The dependence on biomass is leading to deforestation, soil degradation and desertification.
SCODE is a NGO in Kenya, based in Nakuru, which tries to tackle these problems by promoting improved cookstoves (ICS). The survey I did gives insights about the fuel savings in real-world settings by using improved cookstoves instead of the traditional three-stone fire. The improved cookstove users save around 40% fuelwood, which is a lot in time and money. Furthermore the smoke emmissions are reduced by 30%.