| Boiling Point No. 33 - May 1994 Number 33 |
Household Energy Programme (HEP) - Co-ordination and Advisory Service, PO Box 5180, 6236 Eschborn, Germany, Tel: 6196 793004-7, Fax: 797325
Editor: Cornelia Sepp l
News from headquarters
IHV (Integrated Household Energy Supply) will henceforth be called Household Energy Programme (HEP). This change was necessary because IHV was being confused with the abbreviation HIV.
New phase for HEP
The HEP has entered a new project phase. The most important change, due mainly to restricted funds, is a concentration of the project activities on Africa.
Elke Metzen, formerly the GTZ consultant for Boiling Point, will join the GTZ staff to head the Department for Women's Affairs in Africa.
Cornelia Sepp, who worked for a number of years on past issues of Boiling Point, joins the staff once again as the new editor for GTZ.
Gesa Schoop, a longtime assistant to Agnes Klingshirn (GTZ representative), has formerly ended her contract with GTZ.
Heinz Schneiders returned from the Special Energy Programme in Tanzania. The main activity - disseminating institutional stoves - will continue without external support.
Ethiopia 'Energy and Health' workshop Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 21st-25th March 1994
Dr Agnes Klingshirn, team leader of the GTZ 'Household Energy Programme', will participate in a planning workshop, funded by the World Health Organization, for a household energy and health project in Ethiopia. Its activities will be focused in the northern region of Tigray, and in a second region which is still to be chosen.
In order to plan this project and coordinate activities at different levels, The World Health Organization (WHO) has organized a workshop in Addis Abbaba for 21-25 March with the participation of partner organizations such as the Ministries of Agriculture, Energy and Health, NGOs working in the fields of household energy and health and with representatives of other projects in Ethiopia.
The workshop will assess the household energy supply situation, and assist in the planning and organizing of an intersectoral, regional program for household energy. Efforts will be made to strengthen coordination and cooperation among the different organizations working in the area. During the workshop, funding for an intersectoral committee will be established, methods of operation for the project will be discussed and material will be presented on the fields of energy and health.
A series of missions organized by WHO have already been held. In Ethiopia, the topics of household energy and health have a special importance due to the critical economic situation in which the country finds itself after nearly 20 years of civil war and sev oral harsh droughts. One of the central factors influencing the ecological crisis in Ethiopia is the over-utilisation of its forest resources. From the former 40% of forest covered land there remains only 2.7% (4.7% if savanna is included). Every year the forests and savanna diminish by 150,000 to 200,000 ha.
The preparation of the traditional food 'Injera' (Fladenbrot) consumes enormous amounts of energy nationally. Commonly three stone or five stone open fires of low efficiency are used.
With this rate of fuelwood consumption in inefficient stoves, it is impossible for Ethiopia to provide the necessary fuel for its 52 million people from its natural resources. Yet 97% of all households depend on biomass for their energy supply. That means that not only the rural households (85% of the population) depend on biomass, but also the majority of the urban households. Neither sector has access to alternative energy supplies although many households have started to use dung and agricultural wastes for cooking. Others have reduced their number of cooked meals.
Both 'strategies' are unsatisfactory; the one because dung and agricultural wastes are needed to fertilise the already poor soils and to prevent further erosion, and the second because it will result in further malnutrition which was already affecting 31 million people in Ethiopia in 1990. Another relevant aspect is that fuels of inferior quality produce more harmful smoke and consequently more respiratory and eye diseases as well as low birth weight babies.
Positive results from the planned project are expected in the form of careful management of natural resources, reduction of women's workload, improvement of health for the families, poverty reduction and income generation by the promotion of local crafts.
Pakistan improved technology diffusion
The GTZ project 'Diffusion of Improved Technologies' in the North-Western Province of Pakistan (NWFP) (previously featured in Boiling Point) began in 1990, and has now been extended for a second and probably last phase until the end of 1995.
In the NWFP pressure on natural resources has reached a critical point due to the arrival of more than three million Afghan refugees since the beginning of the eighties. The already scarce biomass resources were over-used in order to satisfy the household energy needs of the increased population. Up to now the Pakistan and Afghan populations have not had access to biomass-saving technologies and to information about environmental issues. Over-utilisation of biomass resources will lead to reduced soil fertility and the destruction of whole vegetation zones and in the long run, to worse living conditions for the entire population.
The aim of the project's second phase is to introduce a rational utilization biomass fuel. One precondition for this aim is that Pakistani craftsmen not only produce fuel-economising products but also sell them through the normal market channels. A second is the acceptance and regular use of such technologies by the population. If successful, the project will have positive effects on the environment and will fit well into the National Conservation Strategy of Pakistan.
It is expected that women's self-help organizations will benefit from this project. Their promotion has often been difficult within Islamic countries, but it is expected that small scale industry will have a positive impact, since the project's aim is that the target groups (producers, users and marketing organizations) can continue production and dissemination after the project's end.
During the first project phase (1990 to 1992), which was based on the results of the Domestic Energy Saving Project (DESP), a metallic multipot stove (MPS) was locally produced and 40,000 stoves were placed into 37,500 households. In addition, a space 'Heating Stove ' was tested. There has been an increasing interest in the production and use of both stove types and as a result of commercialization by Pakistani craftsmen during the first phase, production and diffusion increased. Both stoves use 30 to 40 per cent less biomass fuel than was previously consumed. The MPS will be amortised in less than five months but can be used for one and a half to two and a half years. A special project component provided 143 bakeries employing 500 workers during the first phase, but in view of the results of project monitoring, this component will be followed up but not increased.
In the second phase the project proposes to develop further fuel-economising technologies and to improve existing technologies. The conditions for self-sustaining production and diffusion of fuel-economising technologies should be created by 1995, when at least 10 craftsmen will be producing products of high quality for the local market. Awareness and information programs about fuel-economising technologies have been planned to reach at least 20 per cent of all households and will involve 5 more organizations. These activities will include other NGOs and local institutions in order to enable the target group to continue activities after the project's end. During this process the staff of partner organizations will have to be properly trained.
It was not possible to increase membership of the partner institution, the Pakistan Council for Appropriate Technology (PCAT) sufficiently during the first phase. Therefore, the Ministry of Science and Technology will be the partner institution for the second phase together with local small scale industries and merchants, for production and dissemination; the Pakistan Council of Science and Industrial Research (PCSIR), for technological development and PCAT for the coordination and diffusion of technologies in other provinces.
The expected effects of the project's second phase will be evident at micro-economic and macro-economic levels: households will economise on fuel; over-utilisation of the natural resources for energy will be reduced; and ecological consciousness will be measured. Health conditions of the local population will improve and local production and commercializa tion will be supported. The new element of combining resource management with self help promotion can strengthen men and women's personal initiatives, especially in economic activities. However, the longterm effects can only be achieved if craftsmen continue their production of new stoves and other fuel economizing products after the project's end and if the macroeconomic conditions in Pakistan do not deteriorate.
Continuing participation of women in Niger's household energy supply programme
The participatory extension approach was applied successfully in a household energy supply project in Niger from 1987 to 1993. This Projet Foyers Améliores has come to its end, but work will be continued by the local Nigerian staff.
Niger is the largest country in Africa, but has a population of only 7.7 million. It is identified as one of the UN's Least Developed Countries. Wood is the main energy source, and the Forest Ministry expects that during the next ten years the last forests will disappear because of fuel wood cutting. The government is currently introducing alternative energy sources, such as gas and petroleum, but in the rural household this substitution is not possible. For this reason, rural households were encouraged to find more efficient means of utilizing fuel wood energy.
The project contributed to that aim by introducing a metal stove in the cities and a clay stove in the rural regions. The extension approach will be promoted especially for the latter: Past experiences have shown that the clay stove 'Albarka' was not generally accepted by the rural population. The metal stove was too expensive and adjustments to its design were not possible. The project therefore tried to encourage acceptance of the clay stove.
The women extension workers did not find the traditional method of discussion successful in their attempts to promote the stove, and so in 1990 the GRAAP (Groupe de Recherche et d'Appui pour I'Autopromotion Paysanne) method was introduced. This met with some difficulties because the role of the women extension workers was changed to that of helping the village women to tackle problems themselves. The work was organized in five steps:
1. During a first visit to the village, the extension worker, accompanied by a member of the technical service, contacted the village authorities, to explain the procedure to them and fix a date to return for a four- to five-day visit.
2. During the second visit the extension worker got to know the village inhabitants, the women, their work and the social relationships. At the end she organized meetings in which the villagers could discuss their general situation and problems and work towards solutions together. When the discussion came to the topic of fuel, stoves and environmental problems the extension worker used the GRAAP method, with pictures, to steer the discussion. She introduced the fuel-economising stove and offered training activities to be conducted at a later date.
3. When there was sufficient interest in the stove the extension worker resumed for a ten day visit. After a cooking demonstration with a three stone fire and the improved stove, the most interested women participated in an eight day training course to construct the clay stoves. An important topic to be discussed at the very beginning was the question of payment for the stove producers.
During the training course the women learned to construct clay stoves and to understand all the steps necessary for the construction process. At the end they received a certificate.
4. During the following year, the extension worker returned to the village twice to discuss any problems which might have arisen with the village authorities, as well as with the women from the training course. Together with these women she visited the entire village and checked the new stoves to identify possible construction errors. If they needed to be repaired, the extension worker organized a repair course for the women who owned stoves.
The extension worker carries out surveys in villages where after several years only a few improved stoves were in use. To ascertain the reasons for the lack of acceptance of the improved stove, she returns to the village and organizes meetings where men and women discuss the identified problems and search for solutions. If there is sufficient interest in improved stoves, she will offer appropriate training courses.
RWEDP has, however, remained fluid and responsive to its member countries' needs, offering a valuable focal point for the various national and regional organizations, and linking its activities with other projects in the field. The newsletter has proved to be an invaluable vehicle for the reportage and exchange of information on wood energy issues and as a way of disseminating research and experience gathered in the field. Funding for RWEDP's projects has been secured in phases; at each phase, the projects have been expanded or modified in response to the changing needs of its member countries.
RWEDP informs us that since the last issue of Wood Energy News, no decision has been made about the funding of the next phase of the project. The implications are that RWEDP's activities may have to be lessened considerably, or even closed down. Many of the acitivities initiated by RWEDP have since been taken over by other, regional organizations, with the support of RWEDP. Others, for example energy conversion, may be taken over by the Asia Regional Cookstove Programme (ARECOP), based in Indonesia. However, with an unplanned closure and therefore insufficient time to organize an adequate handover, efforts to transfer experience and expertise in this field will be hampered, and much knowledge may be lost. The future of planned activities in Asia for the next few years - focusing on wood energy planning - looks unpromising.
Energy issues are currently of global interest because of their environmental implications. For millions of people across the developing world, however, interest in energy is a more urgent priority. While people in industrialized nations may worry about the ozone layer and greenhouse gases, those in developing countries may be spending what is often hours each day searching for woodfuel for their cooking and heating needs.
We hope that RWEDP will be able to continue to research and develop issues which are of such crucial importance to so many people. Boiling Point will continue to report on the situation.