Project Gaia

Membership Tier: Associate

Project Gaia is a U.S.-registered non-profit corporation with affiliates in Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria, and with cooperators in Haiti, Tanzania, Ghana, Madagascar, South Africa and several other countries. Project Gaia was founded in 1995 and has been working in Africa since 2001. Through its Ethiopian affiliate, the GAIA Association, it serves as a UNHCR Implementing Partner. Project Gaia has been a donor in this effort, donating many hundreds of thousands of dollars in goods, services and financial support over the more than a decade in which GAIA Association has been in operation as a registered Ethiopian charity. Project Gaia intervened in Haiti with the IRC in 2010. Today, the ethanol stoves that Project Gaia introduced into Haiti are now commercial and being disseminated by a private sector business cooperator. Commercial projects, outside of humanitarian settings, are also growing in Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria. These will only help in addressing humanitarian crises, because they result in better local delivery of stoves and fuel and other services. Project Gaia has a global staff of six and an Ethiopian staff of approximately 35 to 40 (GAIA Association). Project Gaia is scaling up in Nigeria, currently with a staff of four. Project Gaia has one full time staff member in Kenya.

Why ProjectGaia Joined the SAFE Humanitarian Working Group

Project Gaia specializes in cooking, heating and lighting with liquid biofuels, both the simple alcohols and bio-oils and biodiesel. We are also experienced in other fuels and technologies, from solar to LPG to kerosene to ICS. We seek to expand the opportunity for using often wasted feedstocks for the production of liquid biofuels that burn cleanly, efficiently and safely in properly chosen appliances. The use of liquid biofuels provides the following advantages important to emergency interventions: (1) clean combustion and therefore cleaner indoor air; (2) fire safety—protection from accidents and burns; (3) more efficient use of energy—efficient energy transport and efficient combustion of fuel; (4) convenient and modern appliances that save time in cooking; (5) reduction or elimination of wood fuel use; (6) increased sustainability in energy supply; (7) enhanced climate mitigation and carbon credit earnings; (8) benefits to local, regional and national economies; (9) ethical delivery of services because the services are of high quality.

Because of our expertise in liquid biofuels, we bring a unique perspective and technical capacity to the SAFE Humanitarian Working Group. Because of the success or our work in Ethiopia, other countries in East Africa are interested in evaluating liquid biofuel solutions for their energy needs. Because of the increasing demands on the UNHCR and host governments as a result of new migrations from Syria and other countries, there is an urgent need for safer, cheaper, logistically simple energy interventions. Project Gaia specializes in such interventions. We want to help pioneer better and higher quality energy interventions, including those using liquid biofuels.


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