Lifeline's mission is to minimize the human suffering and environmental costs associated with two of life's most basic necessities: cooking food and drinking water. Lifeline's programs use entrepreneurial problem solving and cost-effective technologies to provide sustainable solutions to the communities that Lifeline works with. Lifeline's goal is to provide individuals with the tools and resources they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Lifeline operates a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene program in Uganda and has implemented clean cooking programs in Haiti, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda although our primary focus is on expanding our presence in Haitian and Ugandan fuel-effic... read more Lifeline's mission is to minimize the human suffering and environmental costs associated with two of life's most basic necessities: cooking food and drinking water. Lifeline's programs use entrepreneurial problem solving and cost-effective technologies to provide sustainable solutions to the communities that Lifeline works with. Lifeline's goal is to provide individuals with the tools and resources they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Lifeline operates a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene program in Uganda and has implemented clean cooking programs in Haiti, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda although our primary focus is on expanding our presence in Haitian and Ugandan fuel-efficient stove markets. Clean Water: Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence combined, including war. In the Apac district of Northern Uganda, an area still recovering from conflict, nearly 40% of the population lacks access to clean water and about 50% live without proper sanitation. These conditions undermine public health, anti-poverty and education efforts. Indeed, water-borne disease is the leading cause of childhood mortality in Uganda, where infant mortality stands at 54 deaths per 1,000 live-births and 13% of the population dies before reaching the age of five. In response to this crisis, Lifeline's Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) team has developed a holistic and community-based approach to provide clean water and health education. Lifeline ensures community engagement at every stage of the process, from drilling the borehole well, to developing maintenance plans, to constructing latrines, to educating community members on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Lifeline believes that the best projects are those that focus on the intended impact we are trying to achieve - improving the quality of life for every community. Therefore, in addition to drilling wells and providing access to clean water, Lifeline also invests significant resources towards education and training programs, including establishing a Community Health Club ("CHC") in every village. A CHC is a participatory and unifying vehicle that has been proven effective in mobilizing community members to take responsibility for their collective health and quality of life. These clubs meet weekly over a 6-month period, must be attended by at least 80% or more of the households in the community, and are led by self-nominated community participants who have been trained previously by Lifeline and our implementing partner, Africa AHEAD. Lifeline believes that by incorporating each community in the entire process, each project becomes more sustainable and achieves a greater impact for our community partners. Another unique element of Lifeline's WASH program is that Lifeline's drilling team is "in house," which provides greater control over our operations and allows Lifeline to dramatically reduce the cost of drilling a borehole. Clean Cooking: The hazards associated with cooking over a wood or charcoal fire are severe. In Northern Uganda, nearly 95% of rural households cook on traditional stoves - typically three stones grouped around a pile of firewood on the ground. This high use of wood and charcoal is one of the main reasons why Uganda has lost about one-third of its forest over the past 25 years and why acute respiratory disease is the second leading cause of morbidity and accounts for over 8% of infant deaths. The WHO estimates that health effects of indoor air pollution are the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes a day and the victims are disproportionately women and girls. Likewise, women and girls are hardest hit by the socio-economic consequences of these conditions as they are the ones who must perform the tasks of fuel collection and cooking - chores that consume 6 to 8 hours a day, leaving little or no time left over for income generation, family care or school attendance. Recognizing the confluence of problems and the significant environment and social impacts of traditional stoves, Lifeline sought a sustainable solution that would have the greatest impact at the lowest possible cost - the production and distribution of fuel-efficient stoves (FES). Lifeline's innovation lies in its FES design and its ability to provide high-quality FES at low-costs to poor families. Other FES competitors focus on the easier to reach urban areas. However, Lifeline focused on creating a network that would provide the benefits of a clean cookstove to those who suffer the most, poor rural families. Therefore, Lifeline has created a sustainable network of local vendors, female entrepreneurs, and partnerships with local organizations to penetrate the hard-to-reach rural countryside. Using Lifeline's expertise in fuel-efficient cooking technologies, knowledge of local cooking habits, and user feedback, Lifeline has developed a unique and patented FES model. Lifeline's primary FES model, the Okelo Kuc, is made from locally sourced materials and has a fuel-efficiency rate of 35%, that of a high quality cookstove, but is competitively priced. Okelo Kuc's components are made for durability and longevity. Lifeline provides a multi-year warranty on all Okelo Kuc sales.
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