Stakeholders Come Together to Celebrate World Consumer Rights DayBushnell Odhiambo
Homa Bay, Kenya – On the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day, County Chief Officer for Energy, Prof. Donald Ogweno presided over the event at the Staridge Hotel in Homabay Town, where stakeholders gathered to discuss the theme of “Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transitions.”
“Today, we are here to mark World Consumer Rights Day and to reiterate our commitment to protecting the rights of consumers,” said Prof. Ogweno who is the county chief officer for Energy.
“The theme of this year’s event highlights the importance of clean energy in empowering consumers and ensuring their right to a healthy environment.”
He was speaking during the ceremony hosted by key partner, Consumers Unity and Trust Society International, Nairobi Chapter (CUTS). Others include, Voices for Just Climate Action and HIVOS People Unlimited. They all emphasized the need for collaboration among stakeholders to promote the use of clean energy sources and protect the rights of consumers.
The World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated globally every year on March 15th to raise awareness about the importance of consumer rights and needs. The day is recognized and accredited by the United Nations and provides an opportunity to demand respect and protection for the rights of all consumers.
“We must ensure that consumers have access to clean and sustainable energy sources,” said a representative from CUTS International, Mrs. Josephine Otieno. “This will not only empower them but also contribute to the protection of our environment. We urge our people to adopt, tree-growing practices and ensure they protect indigenous trees.”
She noted that 70% of the Homa Bay county population use firewood, with 15% population using charcoal.
During the event, various speakers also highlighted the challenges faced by consumers in accessing clean energy sources, particularly in rural areas. They called for increased investment in renewable energy technologies and infrastructure to bridge the energy gap and ensure that all consumers can benefit from clean energy.
Mr. Steve Ogutu, the safe consumers organization champion, who is equally represents differently-abled persons said manufacturers have a role to play in ensuring that our products are environmentally friendly and that consumers are well-informed about the benefits of clean energy.
“We however need to educate consumers more, about the benefits of clean energy and how they can access it. This will help them to make informed choices and protect their rights as consumers,” Ogutu said.
Prof. Ogweno also emphasized the need for consumer education and awareness-raising initiatives to help consumers make informed choices about energy consumption.
“We need to invest in renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, to provide affordable and sustainable energy solutions for consumers,” said Prof. Ogweno, adding that consumers need to adopt best practices to protect the tree cover that stands at 2%.
“As stakeholders, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that consumers have access to clean and sustainable energy sources. We must work together to achieve this goal and protect the rights of consumers,” said Prof. Ogweno in his closing remarks. He also thanked Mr. Dan Asher, CUTS International Project Officer, Nairobi for his instrumental role in supporting the development of the county’s Climate Change Policy and Renewable Energy policy.
The event concluded with a commitment from all stakeholders to work together to promote clean energy and protect the rights of consumers. They agreed to collaborate on initiatives to increase access to clean energy, raise awareness about the benefits of clean energy, and promote consumer education and empowerment.