What Volunteer Say
From Mozambique to Nepal: My Experience
Joana Nhassengo, FEDESMO, Mozambique
It is interesting to see how can two different countries, located in different continents with totally different cultures and habits, can still share the same problems.
In Africa, specifically in Mozambique, 16 million m² of forest is destroyed every year to produce charcoal. Iin Maputo City, 85% of the families use charcoal everyday to cook their meals. And in Nepal, the situation is not different – 87.1 % of the energy comes from the biomass energy.
These two countries face the same problem. They both are dependent on biomass energies and both of the countries now realize the importance of clean energies for a better environment, better health, etc.
In this context, exchanging ideas and technologies is one of the good tools that can be used to accomplish the common objective that Nepal and Mozambique are pursuing. FK Volunteer Exchange Program is helping countries in Africa, Asia and Europe in “bringing people together” by providing opportunity to professionals from these countries facing the same issues to facilitate exchange of ideas, technologies and experiences.
My Time in Nepal
From November 2014, until now in September, 2015, I have been working as a FK volunteer in NCDC Ilam in the Renewable Energy Department specifically with Improved Cooking Stoves program . It’s interesting to see the difference of technologies between the two countries, when it comes to Improved Cook Stoves, but at the same time we still share some similarities.
NCDC has different of kinds of Improved Cook Stoves, specially the institutional stoves, with a design to use wood as fuel. It’s good to see that NCDC doing trainings around Nepal rural villages with an objective to form new stove masters and giving them responsibility to spread the technology to all the people who want to adopt the technology.
If the trainings is to continue and more stove masters are trained in the same fashion, NCDC can help the Government of Nepal to achieve it’s ambitious aim of declaring Nepal an indoor pollution free country by 2017.
During my time in NCDC, I had a chance to participate in one of those trainings and was surprised to see how it is possible to make ICS with locally available materials in a cost effective way which in turn has potential to change family lifestyle. But, I also think that more work has to be done especially in dissemination of information to facilitate the spread of technology.
To cater to the need of information dissemination, I carried out awareness campaigns around Ilam district to help spread information about the importance of using clean energies specially the improved cook stoves.
The results of the campaign seems to be good. I can see that people are now interested and concerned about this issue. But, there is still a long way to go to make people understand and adopt the usage of clean energy to our environment and improve our health.