RRAFDC has undertaken several activities on alternative resource management. In the context of Bara, the rural communities are in drudgery to get sufficient fuel wood for their daily basic use. The distant users are not in access of forest to use the resources for their cooking purpose. They purchase fuel wood on expensive value otherwise they use cow dung for cooking purposes, which is adverse effect on the health of family and/or community. The children as well as the women face hygienic harassments from the rural traditional practices.
RRAFDC has introduced basically three major components in the field of alternative energy resource in Bara. In the joint venture of several donors, it has introduced three major components of alternative energy in different level of community.
The Program components are:
1. ICS (Improved Cooking Stove)
Generally, each household in the target area, show their level of interest to install ICS. RRAFDC has formulated the broad concept to disseminate ICS to each of the community in the working location. Up to FY 05/06, there were 1778 stoves in use by 1778 families. The users convey their positive feedback for this stove. They are happy to use this stove in their kitchen.
The main paradigm for successful Improved Cooking Stove (ICS) programs has always been and will always remain "understanding users needs". Lack of appreciation of this paradigm amongst field workers is still faltering many ICS programs. Besides other factors play a role with respect to the success of an ICS program.
2. Briquette production and marketing
The other activity under alternative energy program is briquette production and marketing. This activity is going through several women groups from several relevant localities of Bara in mid and northern Terai. The locations where bio-mass (tree leaves, behaya, tree branches, banmara, waste shrubs, herbs, agricultural residues, etc) are easily available, those are feasible to implement this activity as a better component of income generation to enhance livelihood of poor families. The interested families of target community who are eager to generate their income, involves in the activity. It is very relevant activity for the income generation of community. It also helps to recycle the waste materials to make it good
A Local women displaying Briquette, produce and marketed by RRAFDC
alternative for cooking purposes. The briquetting (Bee-hive) technology is simple, pollution free and eco-friendly. It provides a smokeless domestic fuel, which is easily ignitable and exhibits sustained uniform combustion.
At the first year, the group members were oriented for manufacturing process of briquette. To get better market linkages, briquette should be of good quality to compete in open market. Keeping this fact in mind, RRAFDC organizes marketing training for the briquette involving several women from the different groups. A perfect networking is also established in the headquarter of the district and is running to provide better market and price to the briquette and oven manufacturers. There are several selling stalls in the country established by RRAFDC to fulfill the briquette requirements for the users to get the same objective of poor's livelihood enhancement.
Briquette (Bee-hive) is economical at any stage of operation from 200 kg/day to 25 tones/day. The use of agro-forestry residues can replace fuel wood and wood charcoal. Being eco-friendly with high social relevance and having the potential to contribute for forest conservation, this technology should be widely promoted throughout Nepal.
3. Bio-gas Installation
Similarly, biogas installation program is also undertaken in some selected locations. The farmers who have sufficient cattle, they are eligible as a target family for the program. They get maximum benefit from this program. The family gets the gas for cooking purpose and the slurry, they use in farm. Every plant attached with toilet to get proper sanitation. The biogas plants bring adequate positive changing in the rural community. The users have sufficient slurry to use it as compost in their farm.