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Danish Government Support to Nepalese Improved Cooking Stoves
By Susanne Backer, INFORSE Secretariat, Denmark
The first Energy-Sector program financed by Danida with a primary focus on sustainable energy.
One of the INFORSE members, the Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal (CRT/N), has been selected as the implementing partner for an Improved Cooking Stoves (ICS) Component under the Energy Sector Assistance Programme (ESAP) in Nepal. ESAP is a joint collaboration program between the Nepalese Government and the Danish Government.
The ICS component is implemented in close co-operation with another associate INFORSE member, Women’s Development Division, under the auspices of the Nepalese Ministry of Local Development, and is financed by the Danish Government. ESAP is the first Energy Sector program financed by Danish International Development Assistance (Danida) with a primary focus on sustainable energy. The Sector Program’s total budget is DKK154 million, of which 10% will be financed by the Nepalese government.

The ESAP has five components:
- Improved Cooking Stoves (ICS),
- Institutional support for an Alternative Energy Promotion Centre,
- Promotion of micro-hydro,
- Promotion of solar energy,
- Financial support for investment in rural energy.
INFORSE Supports with Technical Assistance
The INFORSE Secretariat is supporting CRT/N with technical assistance with the implementation of the 5-year ICS Component. During the next 2.5-year pilot phase, Susanne Backer from the INFORSE Secretariat in Denmark will work closely with CRT/N in developing the national strategy for the ICS component.
In previous programs, during the last 30 years in Nepal, the focus has mainly been on the fuel-saving aspects of improved cooking stoves. However, the users, who are almost entirely women, give much higher priority to an improved working environment with less smoke in the kitchen and improved health.
Moreover, the previous approach has been too ‘push-oriented’ and less based on the diverse needs of different families. Therefore, the ICS component under ESAP has given priority to a need-based approach, giving the users much more choice.
Efficient Database
The preparatory work started in April. To date, the result is an “Inventory and Assessment of Improved Cooking Stove (ICS) Activities in Nepal”, prepared by CRT/N. The inventory is based on data collected by CRT/N. It sums up most of the organisations presently involved in stove promotion, their experiences and future plans, as well as a collection of lessons learned. It is the first time that this kind of knowledge has been compiled in Nepal. The inventory has been found so useful that the decision has been made to repeat this exercise once a year, in order to gradually build up an efficient database for planners and for the ICS network.
Holistic Approach
With the help of a Nepalese consultant, Mr. Sylpya, of a Nepalese research institution RECAST, CRT/N has also worked out a desk study that takes a holistic approach to women’s energy needs and problems in relation to cooking as well as to the ethnic-based variation in fuel-burning cooking systems in Nepal.
National Seminar November
Presently, a Nepalese consultant, in co-operation with CRT/N, is carrying out a needs assessment and base-line study in the areas selected for implementation of the programme. A National Seminar has been planned for the beginning of November. During the Seminar, the strategy for the implementation of the component will be discussed and finalised by the relevant stakeholders.

More information: CRT, Centre for Rural Technology, att. Ganesh Ram Shrestha, Tripureswore, P.O.Box 3628, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Ph: +977-1-256819/-260165, fax: +977-1-257922,,
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