Her forte is business-friendly policies

Martha Cheruto [Professional Technical Award winner]

What is your work background?

I started my work journey in 2009 in Germany where I was involved in a research project on improving efficiency in industrial pneumatic processes at the Technical University of Munich. I later worked with Sustainable Energy Initiative as an energy auditor assistant. We carried out energy audit services and provided technical support to industries on the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. In 2012, I moved to Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) as an executive officer in charge of energy services. I managed energy and climate change projects funded by various agencies. I was involved in advocating for a conducive environment to promote Kenya’s competitiveness globally through the provision of adequate, quality, and reliable power supply and affordable energy. It is through these works that I was appointed by former Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources CS Judy Wakhungu as the Vice Chair of the National Task-force for the development of Climate Change and Bill. With dedicated task force members and consultations with National & County governments and the public, we were able to develop the national climate change framework policy and climate change bill that was assented to by the President to become Climate Change Act 2016. Prof Wakhungu later appointed me to be the Vice-Chair of the National Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan steering committee where we developed the National Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP). I moved to Kenya Power where I currently work as the Engineer In-charge of the Industry & SMEs (Small Medium Enterprise) Liaison.

What inspired you to join the energy sector?

My stay and experience in Germany inspired me to join the energy sector. The energy sector in Germany is well established and advanced compared to ours. Their use of renewable energy is vast despite their climatic conditions which made me appreciate how blessed we are in Kenya. With Kenya being at the Equator and having a lot of natural resources, there are so many opportunities that when tapped into can generate a lot of wealth and grow the economy in line with our Vision 2030.

 How has your work in the sector impacted society?

My work in the sector has impacted society in the context of having business-friendly energy and climate change policies. These policies have provided opportunities for business and employment to the people of Kenya. Through energy audits and implementation of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy, companies have been able to optimise their business operations hence assuring them of business sustainability. The climate change policy and Act when followed to the latter will ensure that we preserve the planet for the coming generations. I have also been able to mentor others in the energy sector and grow people to realise their goals not only in energy but in the wider engineering space.

 How do you feel about being the Women in Energy Awards 2018 winner?

I must say it was indeed an honor and a great feeling to be crowned the Winner of the Professional Technical Award in Women in Energy Awards 2018. I appreciated that my work in the energy sector has been recognised and has made a difference in society. It has inspired me to work harder every day and give back to society. It has set the pace for a start of a new decade on a higher level for me in the energy and climate change space. I will continue mentoring others, particularly ladies so that we can create a bigger impact and inspire others to join us.

  1. How would you encourage women looking to join or make careers in the energy sector?

I would encourage them to keep their heads high and give their best in everything they do. They should aim for excellence in their daily lives. There are a lot of opportunities available in the energy sector that they should be ready to grab and run with. The ladder of success is big enough for all of us to climb and even has space for us to lift others up. Let us all hold hands as we take the country to posterity.

By Women in Energy Media Team

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