The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Tuesday awarded an appreciation to two institutions that managed to produce environmental-friendly products while at the same time having capability to improve livelihood for poor people.

In a prize awarding ceremony, the UNEP's Executive Director and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations Achim Steiner said that the companies, named Trees, Water and People (TWP) and Nuru Design changed the lives of thousands of school children, housewives and villagers across Latin America, Africa and India.

“This is the green economy of tomorrow in an action today,” said Steiner. The appreciation called the Sasakawa Prize worth $200,000 each was awarded to Nuru Design as the company has brought rechargeable lights to villages in Rwanda, Kenya and India while TWP is an organisation that collaborates with local non- governmental organisations in distributing fuel-efficient cook stoves to communities in Honduras, Guatemala, El Savador, Nicaragua and Haiti.

Wangari Mathai, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who is one of the juries, said that both institutions managed to fulfil three standards set namely replicable, taking side on grassroots people and inexpensive.

“Obviously, they address issues of environment and poverty as their creation managed to improve livelihood and in the same time protecting environment,” said Mathai.

Stuart Conway, co-founder and International Director of TWP said that stove he created managed to reduce forest cuts and improve health of housewives as it is completed by chimney that emit smoke to outdoor.

The founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nuru Design said that the rechargeable lights managed to reduce dependence of kerosene to energise lantern, a fossil fuel that is expensive for poor people and emits smoke that is unhealthy and environmentally unfriendly. — Xinhua

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