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Royal prize: Kenyan company in Mukuru awarded by Prince William

A Kenyan-based company has been awarded by Prince William in the Earthshot Prize award for making carbon-free cookstoves.

Mukuru Clean Stoves has been awarded for being a female-led startup providing cleaner-burning stoves to women in Kenya to reduce unhealthy indoor pollution and provide a safer way to cook.

The company was awarded the prize of one million pounds which is approximately Ksh 150m.

Cookstoves which do not consume carbon are safe for the environment and the health of the user.

Other winners come from India, Australia, the United Kingdom and Oman.

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Founder of the organization Charlot Magayi said the company began as a solution to a problem that she had felt personally in her own life.

“Today, we have an opportunity to transform the lives of millions, with cheaper, safer and more sustainable cookstoves and fuels. It is a privilege to be recognised by the Earthshot Prize as we embark on the next step in our journey,” she said.

Mukuru Clean Stoves has grown since its inception in 2017, with 200,000 people in Kenya using the stoves, saving Sh1.2 billion in fuel costs, as well as lives and time.

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Rather than burning dangerous solid fuels, they use processed biomass made from charcoal, wood and sugarcane. This burns cleaner, creating 90 per cent less pollution than an open fire and 70 per cent less than a traditional cookstove.

Mukuru Clean Stoves is a female-founded business with mostly female staff and distribution agents and is empowering women to make a living by making a difference.

Ms Magayi plans to create an even cleaner stove that burns ethanol.

Her long-term goal is to reach 10 million people all over Africa in the next 10 years.

In 2021, Kenyan company Sanergy was a finalist in the ‘Build a Waste-Free World’ category.

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