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Monday, February 23, 2015, Falgun 11, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 3, 1436 Hijr

$100m scheme for clean stoves
Published : Monday, 23 February, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 17

Shahnaj Begum
The government has made a commitment to invest around US$100 million in promoting clean-cooking stove to check women's health hazard and protect environment with support from local and foreign development partners.
The investment will involve formulation of a policy-guideline to promote improved cooking stoves, known as "Bondhu Chula," popularize the use of bio-gas and bio-mass----- known as three popular clean cooking solutions that are currently used in some parts of the country but struggling to be popular in all rural areas due to social stigma.
"There are taboos in people's mind in using biogas produced from human residues?even from caw-dung so we need to change the mind-set first although the traditional old cooking practices in the country cause severe health hazards among women and their family members. It also has a devastating impact on environment." State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said.
"But we need to cut our dependence in using traditional fuel for cooking purpose as it is creating a bad impact on our environment," he added.
Kerosene, cow-dung, crop residues and wood are not means of clean cooking, but are widely used in Bangladesh, the State Minister said adding that about 89 per cent of the people are using solid fuel for cooking purpose. We want to start a campaign against it.
To implement the government idea, the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) of Bangladesh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Global Alliance for Clean Cook stoves (GACC) on Sunday at Bidyut Bhaban to develop and scale-up clean cook stove market in the country with the aim of addressing health hazards and protecting environment.
The Power Division has launched a Country Action Plan (CAP) for Clean Cook stoves in 2013 for market assessment by GACC which was developed in close collaboration with World Bank, IDCOL, USAID, GIZ and the Netherlands.
According to the Power Division, clean cooking solutions are technologies, fuels, equipment, and practices that address the health and environmental impacts associated with traditional cooking stoves and to promote the issue the government has started a US$ 6.5 million programme, the State Minister told The Daily Observer.
According to him about US$ 10 million dollar would be spent on this project by 2017 to install five million clean cooking stoves in the country.
The minister admitted that natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is also another form of clean cooking solution. "But when bio-gas could be used for the same purpose then why we would use the precious money for importing LP gas? he asked.
The average monthly expenditure on domestic cooking by a family for using firewood, kerosene and LPG stood at Tk1500, Tk1700 and Tk1600 respectively.
"Bangladesh would become a focus country for action not only because of the great need for access to improved cooking stoves and cleaner fuels among its population, but also because of the government's strong commitment to addressing this issue," Corinne Hart, Program Manager, Global Alliance for Clean Cook stoves said.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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