VERC ICS PROGRAM AT A GLANCE
VERC is a non-government, non-political and non-profit voluntary organization registered with the NGO Affairs Bureau. It is also registered with the Department of Social Services under the Voluntary Agencies Ordinance of 1961, and under the Foreign Donations Regulations of 1978 and 1982 of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. VERC started its operation as a collaborative project of ‘Save the Children-USA and UNICEF in 1977 with permission of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives and the External Resources Division of GOB. It is having registration of the government as per financial regulatory framework of Bangladesh Bank. So, its nature of businesses are welfare works, development works, social works, poverty alleviation activities, disaster response, capacity building ,protection of health and environment, community mobilization, resource development works, human rights promotion and establishment activities, employment creation activities, educational activities, innovation and modification of appropriate technologies, indoor air pollution etc. Village Education Resource Center (VERC) has been working on Improved Cookstoves Program in Bangladesh since 1987. By the time VERC has been disseminating different types of cook-stove models which were developed by BCSIR (government of Bangladesh) and Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI)-India. From our experiences we have found that the Improved Cook-stove can save 30-60% fuels compared with traditional ones and make the kitchen smoke free. As VERC intends to introduce improved stoves in our proposed working areas, hence it will reduce a huge amount of CO2 and this amount of CO2 can be traded in the carbon market. So the project will actively be contributed in reducing the poverty and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and where possible achieve other benefit such as improved human health and conservation of biodiversity, in sustainable manner. On the other hand VERC has formed a National ICS Network that involves 93 NGOs working over 28 districts in the country and has a committee headed by VERC with the support of Asia Regional Cook-Stove Program (ARECOP) – Indonesia. The goal of the Network is to promote the ICS activities to improve the health of the cookstove users especially mothers and children and to prevent ecological degradation through popularization of improved cookstoves. On the other hand, VERC has been implementing the project titled Reduction of Exposure to Indoor Air Pollution through Household Energy and Behavioral Improve mental with financial support of Winrock International since August 2005 in two municipalities-Saidpur and Parbatipur-located in the Rajshahi division in Bangladesh and the overall goal of the project is to develop and demonstrate a household energy intervention model that integrates health and energy aspects, and leads to alleviation of indoor air pollution and improved energy efficiency. An effective method titled Methodology for Participatory Assessment (MPA) has been used for ignition process successfully. Currently VERC and Winrock International have also undertaken an assignment for assisting the World Bank and the Government of Bangladesh in designing and implementing a new generation household energy pilot project that will reduce indoor air pollution (IAP) in rural settings. Very recently VERC has received a grant support from GTZ for disseminating the ICS activities at Tanore and Godagari Upazila under Rajshahi District in Bangladesh. VERC has also received carbon finance from ecosecurities through implementing ICS program and this carbon finance program is being implemented in 13 sub-districts across the whole country. Recently VERC provide support to WASH plus project with the technical support of Winrock International, FHI360 and the University of Barkley and sponsored by USAID to conduct an improved cookstove (ICS) consumer needs, preferences and willingness to pay assessment in Bangladesh. This assessment was included trials of improved cookstoves wherein Five different stoves models ( envirofit ( G3300 and Z 3000) , ecozoom, ecostove, grameen infra, prakti ) will be placed in homes, with 3 of each stove type per village, in 8 villages, thus totaling 15 households per village in 8 villages, or 120 total households. All models have been imported from India, China, Nepal and USA. This study has played important role to bring and test different ICS technologies in Bangladesh. Which were used in other countries context?
VERC has experienced in implementing following projects on improved cook stove:
1. Installation and distribution of ICS, Bio-Gas plant and Lamps supported by Institute of Fuel Research and development(IFRD)/ Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(BCSIR)
2. National Network on Improved Cook stove Program in Bangladesh (ARECOP-Indonesia Supported Project)
3. Methodology for Participatory Assessment (MPA)
4. Reduction of Exposure to Indoor Air pollution through Household Energy and Behaviour Improvement Project (Winrock International Supported project)
5. Addressing Indoor Air Pollution: Technical Assistance to Developing Indoor Air Pollution Reduction Pilot Program (World Bank supported Project)
6. Dissemination of Improved Cook Stove (GTZ supported program)
7. Development of an Improved Cookstoves Project for securing Carbon Finance (VERC own funded project)
8. WASHPlus Study -supported by Winrock International –USAID
9. VERC ICS Testing Facilities
10. Partnership with IDCOL
1. Installation and distribution of ICS, Bio-Gas plant and Lamps supported by Institute of fuel Research and development(IFRD)/ Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(BCSIR)
The ICS program was initiated in Bangladesh by IFRD/BCSIR in 1987.VERC and few other NGOs involved for extension of the program and shared the learning with BCSIR. On the basis of the learning further improvement has been done by BCSIR.
2. National Network on Improved Cook stoves Program in Bangladesh(ARECOP-Indonesia Supported Project):
Indoor air pollution (IAP) resulting from the burning of traditional solid fuels such as fuel wood and dung in inefficient cook stoves is recognized as a serious global public health threat. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2000, IAP was responsible for more than 1.5 million deaths and 2.7% of the global burden of disease. In high-mortality developing countries the situation is worse as IAP accounted for 3.7 percent of the total burden of disease, making it the fourth most important health risk factor after malnutrition, unsafe sex and lack of safe water and effective sanitation. IAP exposure is typically greater for women and children as they are most often more exposed to cooking smoke. Various studies have confirmed that IAP is a cause of pneumonia and other acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) among children under-five years of age, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults, particularly women. With about 90% of the population depending on solid biomass fuels for their daily cooking, IAP is a major concern in Bangladesh. National Network on Improved Cookstove Program (NNICP) has mainly stemmed considering the importance of ecological balance for human being. The rural people of Bangladesh most depend on agriculture residues as fuel. On the other way, traditional cookstoves need more fuel and causes indoor air pollution that has adverse health effect especially to the mother and children. VERC aims at promoting ecological balance by introducing appropriate technology. It explores, collects, develops and demonstrates the technology to play an effective role in supporting conservation of ecological balance and to improve the livelihood of community people. An efficient and effective NGO network (93 Partners) has been established with ARECOP support to improve the health of cookstove users and popularize ICS for the purpose of preventing ecological degradation. The main objectives of the network are to promote appropriate and user-friendly ICS technologies in rural and urban communities, and to improve technical and programmatic skills on ICS among development actors to enhance ICS promotion. Through Network So far 53,000+ systems installed and trained over 900 stove builders ( 65% women) and conducted over 500 Promotional events. VERC has integrated ICS with other development program such as Health, Education, WatSan, Micro Finance Program and Environmental Protection.
3. Methodology for Participatory Assessment (MPA)
Pilot project With the financial support of ARECOP-Indonesia,VERC alone with SDE, IDEA and Unnayan Dhara (UD) implemented a pilot project of Methodology for Participatory Assessment (MPA) on cookstove program in four different areas in Savar, Sylhet and Jhenaidah in 2005. Since then VERC has been continuing the project at savar.
4. Reduction of Exposure to Indoor Air Pollution through Household Energy and Behavior Improvement Project- VERC/WINROCK International/USAID
Saidpur and Parbatipur are the worst affected by indoor air pollution. Saidpur is in Nilphamari and Parbatipur is in Dinajpur District under the Rajshahi Division. Saidpur municipality has 32 slums (which are known as Bihari camp) and Parbatipur has 07 slums. Majority of the population of these two municipalities are socially backward and belong to low-income group. Significant proportions of population of these two municipalities are non-Bengali (Bihari). Most of them live in camps and slums. Only 7% households use comparatively cleaner fuel as per our baseline survey. About 90% households use mud stove that can be easily modified. Most of the people in the camp and slum areas do not have separate kitchen. Sometimes they cook in bedrooms. Although the Project duration is February 2005 to May 2007,. Under this project 1000 system installed.
5. Addressing Indoor Air Pollution: Technical Assistance to Developing Indoor Air Pollution Reduction Pilot Program (World Bank supported Project):
VERC has been successfully implementing WatSan related activities including health issues similar to indoor air pollution (IAP) since long time. Both are related to public health and need to be managed by households. VERC experiences of successful implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) activities can be adapted to implement activities in reducing IAP through awareness raising, encouraging technology innovation, participatory planning, increasing involvement of LGI, NGOs etc. The most important feature of CLTS approach is its innovative process of facilitation to mobilize community people to make things more effective and sustainable which can be applied in respect of managing indoor air pollution caused by use of bio-mass fuel in cook stoves. The results of integrated ICS and CLTS program as was tried in VERC program area with ARECOP support was proved to be effective and was encouraging to try for further improvement and sharing the experiences with other stakeholders. If the lessons can further be tried under a comprehensive pilot project it will make the lessons more acceptable and worth-sharing for wider audiences and going for replication/scaling-up in the country to address the crisis of indoor air pollution and its corresponding effect on health and environment.
6. Dissemination of Improved Cook Stove (GTZ supported program)
To popularize the installation and usages of ICS and helping the local entrepreneurs and manufacturers in establishing its ICS business at Mohanpur, Godagari, Tonore, Mandha and Baghmara under Rajshahi division in Bangladesh and with this view VERC has been implementing the project entitled “Dissemination of Improved Cookstove” since September 2007 with the financial and technical support of German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). Under the project, 3100 system i.e. both institutional and domestic ICS are promoting as well as installing at the community level. The focus of the ICS is to disseminate the improved cookstove through organizing the training on ICS manufacturer, organize ICS exhibition for demand creation, and establish ICS manufacture facilities and involving local government for sustainability
7. Development of an Improved Cookstoves Project for securing Carbon Finance (VERC own funded project).
Carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas produced by combustion of fuels, has become a cause of global panic as its concentration in the earth’s atmosphere has been raising alarming. This devil, however, is now turning into a product that helps people, countries, consultants, traders, corporations and even farmers earn billions of dollars. This was an unimaginable trading opportunity not more than a decade ago. In fact, carbon trading seems like a win-win situation: greenhouse gas emissions may be reduced while some countries reap economic benefit. To secure the carbon finance VERC has undertaken the above mentioned project. As VERC intends to introduce improved stoves in our proposed working areas, hence it will reduce a huge amount of CO2 and this amount of CO2 can be traded in the carbon market. So the project will actively be contributed in reducing the poverty and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and where possible achieve other benefit such as improved human health and conservation of biodiversity, in sustainable manner.
8. Trial out different ICS on users perspective and adaptability-under WASH Plus project supported by Winrock International:
WASHplus is a five-year (2010-2015) cooperative agreement funded through USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, managed by FHI 360 with Winrock International and CARE as core partners; Winrock is the WASHplus lead on household energy and indoor air pollution (IAP) activities. WASHplus supports healthy households and communities by creating and supporting interventions that lead to improvements in access, practice and health outcomes related to water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and IAP. Phase 1 will include Trials of Improved Practices (TIPs), a qualitative method used to develop and test behavioral and product options with target consumers. The project also includes a Kitchen Performance Test capacity building activity, led by ICS monitoring experts Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, who will train staff of VERC in testing of the performance of improved stoves in the field. This component is made possible by a successful Winrock-supported USAID/Bangladesh proposal to the United States Office of the Secretary of State, Global Partnership Initiative (S/GPI).
9. VERC ICS Testing Facilities :
For getting carbon finance, it is imperative to do Water Boiling Test (WBT) and Controlled Cooking Test (CCT). With this regard, ARECOP recommended VERC to Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) to give the opportunity for attending WBT and CCT training. As per the criteria for receiving the training, VERC submitted a proposal to PCIA in May of 2010 to participate in the Water Boiling Test (WBT) and Controlled Cooking Test (CCT) training. After reviewing the proposal, PCIA and US Environmental Protection Agency agreed to provide the training to VERC. VERC has developed ICS Testing Facilities and research lab to perform the testing of stoves by conducting WBT, CCT and KPT recently, VERC completed a CCT to see the performance of different imported metal stoves like, EcoZoom, Green way, Envirofit, PRAKTI, Biolite, Alfa Echo supported by Winrock International and collaboration with Aprovecho Research Center, Oregon, USA. We do also WBT for Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), a concern of Government of Bangladesh to select ICS model. Very recently, VERC organized the Interactive stove testing workshop on Control Cooking Test (CCT) and the Household trials (KPT) for PRAKTI stoves under the study on Multi-Fuel Stove (MFS) Field Testing and Commercial Pilotin Bangladesh.
10. Partnership with IDCOL:
Another partnership has been signed between VERC and IDCOL in December’2013 to disseminate IDCOL-ICS in Six clusters (Upazila) to construct and install about 40 thousand ICS in Six upazila (Savar/Dhaka, Keranigonj/Dhaka, Kaliakoir/Gazipur, Mohanpur/Rajshahi, Durgapur/Rajshahi and Bagmara/Rajshai) by 2018. IDCOL. This is non-subsidized program and based on the learning of CLTS the demand of ICS to be created through Community mobilization and provide technical support to the NGOs/Entrepreneurs. The NGOs/ Entrepreneurs will construct the selected ICS maintaining the quality and install the same in the HHs/resturent/hostel with one year warranty services. IDCOL will provide an incentive for each ICS after validation.
Currently, VERC and Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy Ltd. (RREL) agreed to collaborate to conduct ICS field testing of five different models of metal ICS in the specific places. VERC and RREL also agree to collaborate on a commercial pilot to determine effective distribution, marketing, and sales strategies for the MFS
Village Education Resource Center (VERC) has been working on women entrepreneurship since 2005. Very recently, VERC worked with Johns Hopkins University and Winrock International for Empowered Entrepreneur training handbook and translated it in Bangla and after that VERC also has developed a training team for conducting training. Till date, VERC organized the Training on Empowerment, Leadership & Business for Female Entrepreneur of ICS with the technical and financial support of Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC). Recently VERC conducting another two batches of Training on Empowerment, Leadership & Business for Female Entrepreneur of ICS with the technical and financial support of Catalyzing Clean Energy in Bangladesh (CCEB)/USAID.
13. Emergency Response through Energy Project :
VERC is implementing the project titled- “Emergency Response through Energy Project Activity for Newly Arrived Rohingya People in Makeshift Settlement, Cox's Bazar District, Bangladesh Project” initiative is a six months project with technical and financial supported by Community Partners International (CPI). The project which began in August 2018. The overall objectives of the project are - Promote appropriate & user-friendly ICS Technologies and solar lights, Reduce health hazards, Protect environment by reducing CO2 emissions and reduce deforestation. Under this project a total of 1000 improved Cook stoves including 10 solar cookers and 1000 solar lights to be distributed.