| Boiling Point No. 29 - December 1992 |
Saving Gambia's Forests
The Gambian Gouvernment aims to reduce destruction of the country's forests by promoting butane gas (LPG) as a cooking fuel, concentrating on urban areas where many households still use firewood and charcoal.
It is therefore planning a large scale project to reduce the price of the fuel. First feasibility studies showed that a simple route to cost-cutting would be to import LPG in bulk, using gas tankers, instead of expensive batch container tanks. New storage facilities are being planned, including a Central Import Facility and storage depot for petroleum products, but some storage was needed in the interim.
The government turned to IDU (Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation - Industrial Development Unit) for help and the unit has started work on a detailed feasibility study for an LPG bulk storage plant, which could be quickly constructed and later form part of the new Central Import Facility. It is working in collaboration with officials and also with the entrepreneurs who now own and operate many of the small existing facilities for LPG storage and bottling. It is also seeking possible sources of financial and technical collaboration.
So far, the project looks promising merely in economic terms. The benefit in trees saved (and so soil and water courses) would be even more important..
A Friendly Anagi
by Peter Young, ITDC
Once upon a time and not so long ago Mr & Mrs Ashmore from Warwick, England, saw some Anagi stoves on the TV. They thought one of these fine stoves would make an ideal present for their Sri Lankan friends when they next visited. They got in touch with Linda Key at ITDG who produced the programme and she asked me to draw a map of the pottery in Kandy where Anagi stoves could be purchased. Some months later when Mr & Mrs Ashmore visited Sri Lanka they did not have to go to the potter in Kandy because Anagi stoves had become very popular and were readily available from most hardware stores. They purchased one and gave it to their friends who are reported to be extremely happy with it.
Margie and Her Anagi
by Caroline Ashley, ITDG
Margie lives with her mother, two younger sisters, and younger brother, in a very poor area called Boowelikade, on a steep hillside outside Kandy in Sri Lanka. Their small mud house with a leaking thatch roof has a dark kitchen with one tiny window, and one bedroom with sleeping mats. The only other furniture is a tiny wooden stool. It is almost at the top of the hill, far from the road, and with only a small creek for water nearby. Like other families in the area, they do not own the land where they live.
Her mother goes out to work from 7am to 6pm so Margie does all the cooking, cleaning and getting her younger sisters and brother to school. She cooks only one meal a day, apart from tea for breakfast. Usually she is cooking in the dark, because her mother brings the food at the end of her day's work.
Margie uses fuelwood for cooking. Some wood can be collected from the land around, but not enough. Some neighbouring households buy what else they need, but this family cannot afford to. So every other week, Margie spends a day walking to a faraway forest, to collect a big bundle of wood. She leaves after getting the children off to school, and returns in time to cook dinner. But the Anagi stove uses less wood than her old three-stone fire because it is more efficient. So whereas before, a bundle of wood lasted five days, now it will last her over a week. It used to take her one hour to cook the dinner - rice and curry. Now it only takes half an hour because the family has an Anagi stove which has two pot holes over one fire. Rice and curry can now be cooked at the same time.
The family bought the stove from a small voluntary organisation, called Gramiya Nayaka, working with very poor families in Boowelikade. The stove costs 60 Rs (70 pence) - nearly a day's wage for the kind of work her mother does, such as street sweeping or cleaning in Kandy. To make the stove affordable, Gramiya Nayaka has arranged for poor families to pay in installments over several months.
The stoves were supplied by ITDG's partner organisation, Integrated Development Association (IDEA). Staff from IDEA demonstrated to women in Boowelikade how to install the stove in a neat mud surround, and showed how a meal of rice, curry, and sprats can be cooked in just 25 minutes using half a kilo of fuelwood.
Gramiya Nayaka and the women from Boowelikade know that a new stove will not solve their problems. A secure job, and a legal title to their land, are whet Margie and the other families really need for a secure future. However, the Anagi is a technology that is affordable for the family now, and immediately alleviates a little of the burden of domestic work for Margie, and for other girls and women like her.
For further information, please contact Kiran Dhanapala, SHE Social Scientist, ITDG - Sri Lanka, 33 1/1 Queen's Rd, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka.
Many of our readers will have met or have read about Mr R Amerasekera, the 'father of stoves' in Sri Lanka since the 1970s. He is a stove engineer and designer who also has wide experience of stove marketing, programme management and the special problems of the potters, women and men who produce the very successful Sri Lankan Anagi stoves.
He has now been appointed Chief Technical Adviser to the UNDP briquetting programme in the Sudan which is developing alternative fuels from local biomass residues to help the country meet its recurring fuel problems and to reduce the effect of another crisis such as the Sudan suffered 4-5 years ago. We wish him success in his new work and hope to be able to publish news from him in Boiling Point.