Rwanda Cookstove AgreementRATIONALE
Biomass, including firewood and charcoal, accounts for 95 percent of the total energy use in the sub-Saharan African country of Rwanda. Inefficient use, though, combined with the increasing energy demand of the growing population, has brought damage to the nation's natural resources. Extensive tree-cutting has led to deforestation, soil erosion, and excess runoff, which in turn has reduced the lifespan of dams and hydro-electric plants, the primary source of electricity in Rwanda. Lack of energy in some regions has also exacerbated food security and nutrition deficiencies.
Studies indicate that Rwanda is running a fuel wood deficit of approximately 4.5 million cubic meters a year. Few people in the country have access to electricity, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which must be imported, is too expensive for all but a few Rwandans. Most people have no alternative to biomass.
To combat this problem, both the World Bank/Global Environment Facility and Rwandan government have committed funds to improve efficiency of charcoal production and encourage the use of more-efficient cookstoves. The government lacks expertise to design and manage the program, though, and the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has limited staff to devote to the project. USAID and Winrock International have therefore agreed to provide KIST technical assistance to help design the cookstove program and leverage the World Bank/GEF funds.
Reduce wood consumption by improving the efficiency of household and institutional cookstoves in urban and peri-urban areas. This goal will be achieved by providing assistance in two primary areas: helping KIST develop a comprehensive, commercially oriented program to promote energy-efficient charcoal-burning stoves, and assisting KIST and the Ministry of Infrastructure in budgeting and allocating funds for the program.
To implement the cookstove program, the strategy will assess current cooking practices and user attitudes, as well as the present stove market; select and test appropriate technology; develop a commercially viable stove production and distribution strategy; create a marketing and promotion strategy; develop a monitoring and evaluation plan for the program; and assist KIST and the Ministry of Infrastructure in budgeting and allocating funds for the program components as needed.
This program is not responsible for implementing the improved stoves program. By the end of the project, KIST should have a stove identified for its market, a commercial strategy for making and selling it, a plan for monitoring the program, and recommendations for funding the remaining work. Ultimately, KIST will be responsible for implementing the improved charcoal cookstoves program.