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You haven't been stuck in traffic if you haven't used Mombasa road. It's the worst when it comes to traffic. So, to stay ahead of the traffic jam, my journey to Kitui began at 5 am. The training was scheduled to begin at 10 am and I'm pleased to say that - surprisingly - I managed to get there an hour before time.
The journey to Kitui was rather interesting. It was like taking a trip into the past, before the rise of the concrete jungle which nowadays we all call home. Though a semi arid area, the place must be very beautiful when it rains. In those few minutes driving towards Kitui I had the chance to appreciate nature in its raw form.
I finally got to Kitui at 9.00 am. It was my first time there and I must say that I was impressed. I had no idea it was a big town with all the amenities, like a mini Nairobi.
We set up at around 9.15 am and before you know it, the entrepreneurs began walking in one by one. I was elated by the fact that there were two young men who were trained that day. Instead of complaining about the lack of jobs, they decided to take control and create the jobs for themselves by becoming independent entrepreneurs, one EcoZoom product at a time.
Georgina (the Zoomer in charge that day) took over and began the training. The entrepreneurs got a chance to interact with the EcoZoom products and enjoyed learning about their uses benefits. The star of the day was the Jet 28, the large charcoal stove exclusive to the Kenyan market. When asked what the problem was with traditional cooking methods, like a three stone fire and non-improved stoves, opinion was divided between men and women.
The male trainees talked of the reduction on fuel expenses as the main benefit of the improved cookstove, whilst the female trainees mentioned the reduced carbon emissions of the Jet 28, which were causing them headaches when cooking on traditional cookstoves. Georgina had one of the participants light the stove so that everyone could see the Jet 28 in action.
All of our products are tackle a range of problems that people encounter in their everyday lives.
Charging of mobile phones for example was cited as being problematic as many people do not have electricity in their homes. The solar lanterns we sell therefore kill two birds with one stone, reducing paraffin expenditure but also eliminating the cost of charging mobile phones. Not to mention the health benefits of solar lights versus the poisonous and dangerous paraffin fumes. Relying on sporadic electricity in the rural setting can now be a thing of the past. These solar lanterns ensure that the people of Kitui are never left out in the dark.
Overall, it was a very successful day. The EcoZoom community keeps growing by the day and we are happy to have more people joining us in the journey towards a healthier Kenya.
About the Author: Maureen Mumo is EcoZoom's new Marketing Intern and has just graduated in Business and Marketing from Strathmore University.