The Chairman's View. 2023: An Exceptional Year of Growth

2023 was a pivotal year in the growth and development of DelAgua with the continued growth of our operations in Rwanda together with our stove distributions in new countries in Africa.

The Tubeho Neza programme in Rwanda achieved remarkable milestones. An additional 377,673 stoves were distributed this year and, by May 2023, we reached the 1.5million stoves milestone, bringing us closer to our goal of 2.3 million stoves, one for every household in rural Rwanda.

Testament to the long standing and deep relationship we have developed with the Rwandan Government, DelAgua announced the landmark signing of Letters of Authorisation by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA). These confirm that the Government is committed to provide all of its obligations under the Paris Agreement. We are proud that these Rwanda project VCUs are the very first to receive VERRA’s Article 6 Corresponding Adjustment tags.

For the first time since its inception in 2012, DelAgua took its cookstove programme to other countries: The Gambia & Sierra Leone, marking the start of our expansion into West Africa.

In January 2023, operations began in The Gambia and  Sierra Leone after months of research, planning, Government interactions and training of local staff. In both countries 2,000 stoves were distributed in the pilot phase, followed by household visits and monitoring surveys.

Following the official Live Well launch in The Gambia in March 2023, 76,177 stoves have been distributed in the Lower River Region, Central River Region & Upper River Region, impacting 662,740  lives.

“The launch of the Live Well programme was well received by our Government partners and communities because it offers a much-needed solution to the environmental and health issues caused by traditional cooking. The programme was implemented with great efficiency, making DelAgua a trusted partner of the Government.”Ousman Badije, The Gambia Country Representative.

The Livɛ Fyn programme, as it is known in Sierra Leone, deployed 26,750 stoves across 7 districts; Kono, Kambia, Bonthe, Tonkolili, Bo, Falaba and Kenema, reaching 200,625 people.

Ibrahim Marrah, our Country Representative in Sierra Leone reflects on the past year: “Leading the team on such an impactful project has been an exciting experience. Our beneficiaries appreciate the cookstoves and the benefits of the programme within the communities are evident. We have a young and vibrant team that takes pride in the work we do.”

We have strengthened our leadership team with key senior hires in Finance, Carbon Sales, Data and Market Development. Our team across Africa has increased with 79 full time staff in Rwanda, 13 in The Gambia and 10 in Sierra Leone. Additionally, we trained another 2,128 Community Health Workers in Rwanda, 340 Village Development Committee staff in The Gambia and 125 Youth Volunteers in Sierra Leone.

The impact of our Live Well programme goes beyond the provision of cookstoves; the long-term employment and skills development provided in rural areas where such opportunities are scarce is a key programme benefit recognized by the Governments and communities we work with.

DelAgua also participated in Regional and International conferences including the Africa Climate Summit, Carbon Forward and S&P Global Markets Conference where our COO Euan McDougall spoke on ‘Scale, Impact & Integrity: Meeting the Triple Challenge in Clean Cooking Programmes’

Our team joined the Rwanda & The Gambia Government delegations at the recently concluded COP28, where we joined other global leaders to highlight the role of access to clean cooking in rural African communities in mitigating climate change. As the global carbon market experiences tremendous growth, we are confident that favorable climate financing policies will continue to support programmes like ours to deliver even more impact, at scale. Let’s not forget that dirty cooking remains a global health and environmental crisis with 2.4 billion people still dependent on open fires and inefficient stoves.

The Live Well programme has continued to receive recognition. We were announced as Winner of SDG3 Good Health and Wellbeing at the EU Tech Chamber (EUTECH) SDG Awards and awarded Silver at the 2023 Global Good Awards in the ‘Technology for Good’ category.

 The Reuters Business Awards Highly Commended our work with BURN Manufacturing as the Partnership of the Year and we were recently announced finalists in the 2024 Edie Awards in the Social Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion category.

We appreciate the support from our partners in Government and the private sector, without whom Live Well’s achievements this year would not have been possible. Finally, congratulations and huge thanks to our dedicated, expert teams in Rwanda, The Gambia & Sierra Leone.

Here’s to even greater success in transforming more lives and nature in 2024.

Best Wishes

Neil McDougall

 

Watch our 2023 highlights video below: