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Serving the last mile – Indonesia

This project develops women into entrepreneurs who spread environmentally friendly technologies among remote communities in Indonesia. “Serving the last mile” trains women to sell and repair water filters and efficient cook stoves, giving them a way to make a living off of green products.

Fast facts:

  • 90 women from 7 villages participated
  • 550 water filters and 105 cook stoves distributed
  • 210 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent reduced

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The problem

People in rural Indonesia typically use gas or firewood to boil water as a purification method. This is wasteful and expensive, as such stoves require large amounts of fuel that must be gathered or purchased. Indonesia has among the most biodiverse forests in the world. Unfortunately, they are being logged into nonexistence. Rural Indonesians, especially those in remote, “last mile” communities, lack knowledge of and access to green technologies that could save time, money, and resources. This also helps decrease deforestation.

The solution

This project trains women in East Java, Indonesia, in sales, marketing, and basic accounting. Furthermore, it gives them knowledge of how to maintain and repair water filters and clean cook stoves. Water filters remove the need to boil water, while the cook stoves save 80 per cent of fuel and produce far less smoke.

After the workshops and presentations, the women graduate from the program to become clean technology sales agents. Technology fairs give women in these villages a chance to test the products, inspiring demand for them. Female sales agents receive Nazaba water filters and UB.03-1 biomass cook stoves on consignment, and sell them in their communities. The make their income from the commission they receive from each product sold.

Helping the planet

Using less wood for fuel decreases demand for firewood, reducing the pressure put on Indonesia’s remaining forest. This can contribute to the preservation of plants and animals, including such iconic species as the Sumatran tiger and orangutan. Lastly, these activities reduce the emissions contributing to climate change.

Helping people

Women are getting a financial leg up from selling the green technology, allowing them to better support themselves and their families. Women who use these efficient stoves also benefit from nearly smoke-free kitchens. Those who’ve purchased the water filters and cook stoves are able to save money they would have otherwise spent on buying purified water, or on the fuel to boil it.

Spillover effect

The activity has already expanded beyond its initial scale, and is also being replicated in other provinces of Indonesia. Contributing to its success is the fact that women don’t have to take on debt to start selling the green technology. Leading sales agents are set to train the next round of women, allowing the project to continue growing on its own.





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Images owned by the activity partners, all rights reserved.

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