| Boiling Point No. 27 - April 1992 |
FWD News & Views by Stephen Karekezi - Executive Secretary, P O Box 30979, Nairobi, KENYA, January 1992
Summary of a presentation given at a meeting in Lund, Sweden, January '92.
Household energy activities are central to the activities of our organization as emphasized by its name: Foundation for Woodstove Dissemination (FWD). Since it was formed as a "not-for-profit" foundation in the early 1980s, the FWD has undertaken, through its international network of Focal Points, a wide range of activities in stove dissemination, training, project development and cookstove programme evaluation and monitoring. Key past activities of the FWD include:
• Seven national surveys: The surveys assessed the impact of improved cookstove programmes in Burkina Faso, Guatemala, India (2), Kenya, Indonesia and Niger.
• Two major intemational stoves workshops: The first was held in Wolfheze, The Netherlands and the second was held in Antigua, Guatemala.
• Programme development: FWD has been instrumental in initiating three major regional programmes on wood energy in Asia and East and West Africa.
• Research projects: FWD has assisted in the initiation of worldwide research projects on issues of concern for stove agencies in developing countries.
The primary objectives of the FWD are to: 1) facilitate the exchange of information on cookstoves; 2) assist stove agencies in developing countries to improve the quality of the information generated on cookstoves; 3) assist in the formulation and initiation of regional programmes and, where necessary, national level stove activities.
Have Stove Programmes Been Successful?
There is a certain level of pessimism discernible in northern agencies with respect to stove and household energy activities. This contrasts sharply with the enthusiasm that stove activities are engendering in the south. The number of stove initiatives and organizations working on stoves in the developing world is mushrooming. Virtually every developing country has some kind of ongoing household energy activity. Household energy activities are now a permanent feature of most national energy programmes.
The assumption that stoves do not save trees is simply not correct. There is now a general consensus that urban woodfuel demand is an important contributor to deforestation and the introduction of improved stoves is one way of reducing consumption of wood energy in urban households. But even if the deforestation rationale is ignored, the other benefits of improved stoves activities are substantial. Notable benefits include:
• reducing indoor air pollution
• reducing time for woodfuel collection
• enhanced kitchen conditions and a cleaner cooking environment
• income and employment generation through the manufacture and installation of improved stoves
• stimulus for the emancipation and general development of women
• energy security.
If stoves can achieve so much, why are donor funds for household energy increasingly scarce?
The first reason is that in the mid-1970s and early 1980s when oil prices spiralled, energy in general was on the priority list of the development agenda. Consequently interest in household energy was high. This is clearly no longer the case.
Secondly while there has been great emphasis on technical, social and field-oriented research on household energy, the amount of policy research has been very limited. As a consequence, the case for household energy activities has not been clearly articulated in policy-making circles. This is an area in which northern agencies have a comparative advantage due to their proximity and easy access to policy makers and access to highly skilled manpower. Southern agencies are increasingly able to
undertake the requisite technical and field activities. This sets the stage for an ideal partnership between northern and southern household energy agencies.
HEDON - Household Energy Development Organisation Network
Northern Household Energy Projects and Funding Strategy Meeting, Lund University, Box 118, S-22100 Lund, Sweden, 13-14 January 1992.
On the 13th and 14th January a meeting was held at the Centre for Habitat Studies at the University of Lund, Sweden bringing together representatives of a number of northern agencies working in the field of household energy. The purpose of the meeting which was also attended by Stephen Karekezi of FWD was to discuss GTZ's proposal to establish a formal network of northern agencies - funders, implementors and policy makers corresponding to FOOD's southern network. The proposal was accepted in principle and the network has been christened HEDON - the Household Energy Development Organisation Network. BP will carry regular reports of the work of HEDON.
The next meeting of HEDON is expected to be in June 1992 and its primary duty will no doubt be to define its role, functions and constitution. Agnes Klingshirn of GATE/GTZ has since raised several important points.
• HEDON must not attempt to decide on policies for stoves and household energy work; this must be done in response to southern initiatives and needs in con junction with southern agencies.
• information about the objectives, plans, strategy policies and funding of northern based agencies needs to be more widely and continuously available in the south.
• more effective cooperation between northern agencies is also needed lo help our southern collaborators to make their plans and to avoid undesirable duplication.
• the common factor in these points is communication, by meetings, newsletters, journals, technical papers, books and new media forms.
• a major concern for HEDON should be the policies and procedures, declared and implemented, of the World Bank/ESMAP and other major household energy programme funders such as UNDP and GTZ.
The official report and copies of papers submitted are available from Agnes Klingshirn, GATE/GTZ, Germany
Readers are urged to let us have their views about
HEDON - is it needed, what should it do, how could it help them and how should it be constituted?
Please reply in time for consideration at the June meeting if possible. Editor BP.
Cooking to Conserve
Bellerive's education programme in Kenya, Newsletter No. 13, P O Box 42994, Nairobi
Over 800 primary schools in Kenya are now teaching COOKING TO CONSERVE practices and techniques. This widespread success is the result of the teacher-training programme implemented through the Ministry of Education by Bellerive field officers. Arrangements to introduce the package in other districts continue. Thirty two school woodlots have been established in Embu and Meru districts and a further 23 are planned for this rainy season. This is all being done to find the best way of assisting schools to plant trees with a view to meeting their own fuelwood needs. Bellerive is helping headmasters to work out how much fuelwood they require and how much land they need to plant with trees to provide it.
Sophie Kiarie, our Field Officer in charge of the successful "Green Islands" tree-planting programme in the Ruiru area, north of Nairobi was invited to participate in the Global Assembly of Women and the Environment in Miami, Florida during November 1991. By way of contribution to the theme, "Partners in Life", Sophia presented to delegates the story of her work.
Bellerive Foundation has now started activities in the far west of Kenya on the shores of Lake Victoria. The country here becomes drier al lower altitudes. Known as South Nyanza, this district has a range of ecological zones - from cooler, wetter regions, where coffee, tobacco and sugar cane are grown, to the dry lakeside, where little cultivation is possible. Woodfuel shortages, however, are experienced in all areas. These will be tackled in a joint venture with the Kenya Government's district afforestation programme, supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
The majority of District Home Economics Officers (attached to the Ministry of Agriculture) have now visited Bellerive Foundation's office in Nairobi to be briefed on woodfuel conservation issues. These officers are influential in mobilising people, especially women's groups, who are so important in Kenyan society for the spread of ideas for development. Women's groups are indeed
increasingly consulting Bellerive on their own initiative for detailed advice on how to pursue their conservation concerns effectively.
FAO to host 1992 World Conference on Nutrition from CERES, FAO Review Journal, No. 129 (Vol. 23, No. 3), May-June 1991
Laying the groundwork for a common strategy regarding nutrition and its effect on health will be the objective of delegates attending the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) to be held at FAO headquarters in Rome in December 1992. Sponsored jointly by FAO and the World Health Organization, (WHO), the conference will gather representatives of FAD/WHO member countries, NGOs, international and intergovernmental organizations, as well as industry experts, in what will mark the first major international conference on the subject.
The agenda will include study of the causes and factors of malnutrition, their frequency and geographic distribution. The impact on populations of developing nations and emergency and long-term regional, national and international responses to the problem will be examined. Participants are also expected to devise an annual international data collection and diffusion system, to keep up-to-date on changes in nutritional conditions in the Third World.
The conference aims to draw international attention to the size, causes and consequences of poor diet and to mobilize financial resources to ameliorate the problem. Conference organizers point to a recent UNICEF report, which notes that 150 million children under five years of age suffer from malnutrition worldwide, and 40,000 die each day from the combined effects of weakness due to poor diet and such normally non-fatal diseases as measles, whooping cough and diarrhoea.