|Sustainable Energy News - No. 14 September 1996 (INFORSE, 1996)|
Land Donated by Villagers Seeking for Funds
Regional INforSE Meeting
By Raymond Myles, 1NSEDA, Central Asia INforSE Coordinator, India
In the village of Nagla Khan, India, villagers donated 2.5 acres of land to WAFD, Women's Action For Development, to establish a Renewable Energy Resource Center (RE-REC) to meet the needs of the Bharatpur Distinct of the desertic State of Rajastan
The initiative is based on the feedback of WAFD's experience in renewable energy programs, specifically in the promotion & implementation of low - cost biogas rural household plants in several of the villages of the Bharatpur District. (See in the box)
WAFD, member of INforSE, and INSEDA, the regional coordinator of INforSE, decided to cooperate- to establish the district-level center.
Among others, this was discussed in the Central Asia Regional INforSE
Meeting on May 29-31, 1996, Lucknow, India
The center gradually would train, research, demonstrate, and perform maintenance, as well as develop training and promotional materials.
INSEDA is lobbying to get funds for the district level center which later on could be upgraded state or zonal level center for community based and non governmental organisations.
More information: INSEDA, INforSE coordinator. See address on the back page
Why is the WAFD Biogas Program successful in the Bharatpur District where almost 100% of plants had failed before?
- One reason is the better construction techniques, comparing to the previously goverament-implemented plants in the area
- The WAFD mason also gives more proper instructions about the basics of the technology from the proper feeding and maintenance to the efficient way of cooking.
- Another reason is that WAFD focuses more on people WAFD treats biogas implemention as a development program for empowering rural people, especially women; therefore, lots of its efforts go towards awareness, education and technical literacy The WAFD biogas master masons remain in the villages with the plant owners during the entire period of plant construction and almost become part of their families. The mason acts as a barefoot socio - technical expert and a development agent. This is why, even though the process is slow in the beginning, it surely gains success. (shortened by the editors)
WAFD Biogas Plants
WAFD Women's Action For Development, established in 1978, has an aim comonly development focusing on women &children of weaker of the society. Biogas plan¢s are one of WAFD's focuses since 1980.
· Janata Model - (meaning "people")
In 1980, WAFD built the first Janata model in a semi-urban village of Delhi State. The Janata model is a fixed dome model built from bricks replacing the steel model used before.
· Deen Bandhu Model - (meaning "friend of the poor")
Since December of 1994, WAFD has built 175 well functioning Deen Bandhu models in the Bharatpur District This model is a low-cost rural household popular biogas plant that has been used in the country since 1986. It gets subsidy for construnction from the National Project on Biogas Development, MNES, Govt, India. (See photo on this page)
· Shramik Bandhu Model - ("meaning friends of the labourer.")
Lately, WAFD started the construction of a recently designed and tested low-cost biogas model made of biomass-relnforced cement mortar 45% of its construction cost goes towards the wages of poor rural people. The bricks are replaced with locally available biomass, e.g. bamboo pruned branches of mulberry and date palm which are also used by poor Cal people especially women, for making baskets (See photo on the front page) Organic Farming Using Biogas Technology
Recently, WAFD launched a promotion of low-cost organic-systems that use biogas techology. The villages are encouraged to actively parcipate in the process through, role playing, songs, and street plays.