Ashden Award for Cooling in Informal Settlements

Ashden Award for Cooling in Informal Settlements

Mahila Housing Trust receives ‘Ashden Award for Cooling in Informal Settlements’ presented by President of Costa Rica at Glasgow, COP 26 for its women-led community based climate resilience model.

Media Coverage | ASHDEN award for Cooling in Informal Settlements

Mahila Housing Trust (MHT), a not-for profit organisation with its head office in Ahmedabad, India has won the prestigious climate solutions award from Ashden, a UK charity, which has been supporting transformative climate solutions for more than 20 years.

More than 800 organisations from around the world applied for the 2021 Ashden Awards, and after a rigorous assessment and judging process involving on-the-ground visits and input from sector experts, MHT was declared a winner for the Cooling in Informal settlements category of the award. MHT was one of the 18 organisations shortlisted and one of 2 Indian winners at a ceremony in Glasgow(London) on November 4, Energy Day at COP26 event.

Siraz Hirani, Senior Programme Management Specialist at MHT attended the award ceremony inGlasgow, London which hosted carbon innovators and climate change makers from across the world providing world leaders with powerful examples of practical solutions as they discussed how to tackle the global climate emergency. He shared, “MHT accepts this award with humility, on behalf of millions of poor women that it has been working with and really hopes that it will support in scaling the work and making it more impactful.” MHT’s game-changing idea of speeding progress towards a low-carbon future is through promoting cool roof solutionsand recommendations for Sustainable Housing Solutions for the urban poor.
Millions of people in low-income neighbourhoods face dangerous heat inside and outside their homes. This brings the risk of mental and physical health problems – and makes it hard or impossible to study, earn a living or even sleep well. In the most extreme cases, night-time temperatures can be up to 8 degrees celsius higher indoors than out. Solutions can be hard to implement – these homes are rarely subject to planning regulations, while conventional air conditioning is too expensive for residents (and further drives the climate crisis).
This award by Ashden, supported by Clean Cooling Collaborative (formerly KCEP)/ClimateWorks Foundation spotlights MHT’s affordable, non-mechanised cooling initiatives alleviating heat stress which are accessible and affordable to those in informal settlements who are in greatest need.“Mahila Housing Trust works with poor women in the informal sector, who live in low income neighbourhoods and face heat inside and outside their homes every day. MHT works in the nexus of heat, energy, thermal comfort and productivity for the poor by introducing cooling systems topped up by renewable energy and efficient energy, explained Bijal Brahmbhatt, Director, MHT who virtually attended the award ceremony. She added, “We work with the Community Action Groups (CAGs), technologists, scientists, Government, adapt different micro-credit financial mechanisms because conventional solutions like Air Conditioners are expensive and other solutions are difficult to implement for cooling these communities.”
MHT suggests solutions which are pro-poor, gender-sensitive and climate-resilient. MHT has adapted these solutions by partnering with community women, local governments, technologists, engineers, architects, policy makers which promotes sustainable urban development.
Harriet Lamb, CEO, Ashden shared: “At this year’s Ashden Awards, climate pioneers in Asia excelled in transforming access to low cost, accessible energy and addressing the need for urgent and life-transforming techniques to keep people and buildings cool. Their bold initiatives show how societies can reduce emissions while also dramatically improving people’s lives.” She added, “We are delighted to have Mahila Housing Trust from India among the Ashden winners.
Their practical and affordable home cooling solutions are something so many countries can learn from and replicate.”
Addressing leaders at COP26, she shared, “The message to leaders at COP26 is loud and clear – if they get behind such practical and proven climate solutions a zero carbon world is within our reach.”
1. About MHT: Mahila Housing Trust (MHT), strengthens collectives of grassroots women in the informal sector to advance constructive dialogue and action on improving their housing, living and working environments in cities and jointly march towards responsible urban development.
2. About Ashden: Ashden’s mission is to accelerate transformative climate solutions and build a more just world. Through awards and programmes, Ashden promotes and supports climate and energy innovators – including businesses, non-profits and public sector organisations. Find out more at
3. About the Ashden Awards: Nine Ashden awards highlighting proven solutions to the climate crisis and energy access challenges are announced in November Winners receive a cash prize, development support, and the chance to connect with investors and leading figures in the energy and climate sectors. Since 2001, Ashden has awarded more than 236 ground-breaking organisations.Click Here to check how Ashden awards 2021 describes MHT’s work.
Watch a video to check MHT’s work on Cooling in Informal Settlements, HERE
Watch the Ashden awards HERE
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Here is a sneak peek of #MHTatCOP26

Read Also: MHT is Granted Millennium Alliance Award 2017

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