- The Earthshot Prize is awarded to five winners each year for their contributions to environmentalism.
- In addition to their eligibility for the 140 million prize, all finalists will receive tailored support and resources from The Earthshot Prize Global Alliance Members.
Two out of 15 Kenyan companies have been selected as finalists for the second Earthshot prize where they will battle it out for a 1 million pound (140 million) prize.
The Earthshot Prize is awarded to five winners each year for their contributions to environmentalism.
It was first awarded in 2021 and is planned to run annually until 2030.
Each winner receives a grant of Sh140 million to continue their environmental work after competing under five categories: protect and restore nature, clean our air, revive our oceans, build a waste-free world, and fix our climate.
They are both competing under the Clean our Air category.
In addition to their eligibility for the 140 million prizes, all finalists will receive tailored support and resources from The Earthshot Prize Global Alliance Members.
They will also get an unprecedented network of private sector businesses around the world committed to helping them scale innovative climate and environmental solutions and multiplying their impact.
Last year's winners included a project in Costa Rica paying local citizens to restore natural ecosystems and an India-developed portable machine that turns agricultural waste into fertilizer.
“As Kenya continues to be a pioneer of green, clean energy, it comes as no surprise that Prince William and The Earthshot Prize are honouring Roam and Mikuru Clean Stoves, two of Kenya’s most innovative companies, bringing the total to three Earthshot finalists in two years,” Jane Marriott British High Commissioner to Kenya said.
Marriot said both are an example of Kenya’s renewed commitment to clean air, and inspiring positive climate action. Both organizations empower women to lead and make a living by making a difference.
“The UK-Kenya Climate partnership has driven investment in clean air projects, including helping Roam secure £6.6m worth of investment to expand their operation,” she said.
“The UK is proud to have supported Roam to secure investment to grow their innovative operation. We look forward to taking the UK-Kenya Climate Partnership further at COP27 in Egypt.”
The Prince and Princess of Wales will meet and celebrate the finalists and winners of the 2022 Earthshot Prize at an awards gala on December 2 in Boston, US. The founder’s hometown.
About Earth Shot
The Prize takes inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s ‘Moonshot,’ which united millions of people around an organizing goal to put a man on the moon and catalyzed the development of new technology in the 1960s.
Each of the Finalist’s solutions is assessed on their potential to create a game-changing impact around the world, and their ability to help deal with environmental challenges while positively impacting people, communities, and the natural world.
Special message from Prince William
“The innovators, leaders, and visionaries that make up our 2022 Earthshot Finalists prove there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of our planet,” he said.
“They are directing their time, energy, and talent towards bold solutions with the power to not only solve our planet’s greatest environmental challenges, but to create healthier, more prosperous, and more sustainable communities for generations to come.”
Mikuru Clean Stoves
Mikuru Clean Stoves, from Kenya, provides cleaner burning stoves to reduce unhealthy indoor pollution and a safer way to cook.
Charlot Magayi, who used to sell charcoal for fuel, started the initiative after suffering repeated respiratory infections due to charcoal, and her daughter was severely burnt by a stove.
Her eco-stoves use processed biomass made from charcoal, wood, and sugar cane, and claim they cause 90 per cent less pollution than an open fire. She hopes to create an even cleaner version that burns ethanol.
Her stoves are cheaper too, costing just $10 (sh. 1100) while halving ongoing fuel costs.
“Today, 200,000 people in Kenya use Mikuru Clean Stoves, saving $10 million in fuel costs and saving lives too. In rural areas, where young girls often spend three hours a day collecting firewood, they also save precious time,” she said.
As the business is female-founded and with mostly female staff and distribution agents, Mikuru is empowering women to make a living by making a difference.
Founded in 2017 as a research project at a Swedish University, the company aims to bring the electric vehicle revolution to the country.
Electric alternatives are either unreliable, of poor quality, or too expensive for most Kenyans. Roam spotted an opportunity.
“These are electric vehicles made in Africa, designed for the African market. All at the same time designing everything locally with 40 per cent female employees in all areas,” they said.
The company builds affordable motorcycles and buses tailored to the market with affordability and reliability at the forefront.
“We have tested 160 prototypes, raised more than $7.5 million, and run a successful pilot program with M-Kopa, one of the largest asset financiers on the continent. Now the company has plans to scale up and produce 150,000 motorcycles and 800 buses per year by 2026. This is just the start,” the company said.
Roam aims to make electric transport accessible not only in Kenya but globally.
Also nominated is Fleather, leather made of floral waste in India;
Hutan which creates wildlife corridors for orangutans in Malaysia;
Oman-based 44.01 eliminate CO2 by mineralizing it in rock, and the Indigenous Women of the Great Barrier Reef group from Australia use a mix of ancient knowledge and digital technologies in their efforts to protect the land and sea.
Among the judges for the Prize include Prince William, Singer Shakira and actress Cate Blanchette.