The project "Clean Energy and Women on the Roof of the World" continues

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Июль 26 2018

In July 2018, the Environmental Organization 'The Little Earth' continued implementation of its project "Clean Energy and Women on the Roof of the World". First activities under the project supported by the US Forest Service took place in the highland village of Bopasor. The project is expected to reach 15 women from poor and vulnerable families living in the village.

Free-For-All Exhibition of Resource-Saving Technologies
On July 4, 2018, the Little Earth staff with support from the local partner organization "Oyandasoz" held a free-for-all exhibition devoted to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. The event featured thematic information stands, energy saving equipment and materials (including energy efficient stoves, effective sealed glazing units, LED lamps, and a variety of insulants) as well as devices that use solar energy (such as portable solar lanterns, solar charging units, solar collectors to heat water, and solar parabolic cookers).

Local residents were particularly interested in the LED lamps. Bopasor has access to electricity which is generated by a mini power plant in a neighboring village. However, the power costs are high compelling the villagers to use it sparingly. Many visitors asked questions about techniques used for thermal insulation of buildings, costs and availability of insulation materials in local construction markets.

All interested visitors could listen to short presentations, watch practical demonstrations of some devices and ask any questions they might have. Booklets, bulletins and other publications describing benefits of alternative energy sources, available energy saving equipment and the role of the healthy environment in sustainable development of local communities were disseminated among the local residents. The exhibition was attended by more than 60 villagers, including 15 women selected to take part in the project and the head of the local dehkan farm.

Training workshop for women
A three-day training workshop to build capacity of women participating in the project was launched on July 5, 2018. The workshop was organized by the Little Earth in cooperation with the local NGO Oyandasoz. The training event was aimed at raising awareness of the project target group regarding the link between the environmental conditions and sustainable livelihoods as well as women's role in the development of their village and promotion of resource saving technologies.

The introductory part of the workshop focused on briefing the participants on the goals, objectives and expected outcomes of the project and explaining activities of the Little Earth related to the green energy and climate change adaptation. During the first part of the event, the participants shared their problems and questions that caused their concern and that they considered important to address. While working on their training assignments, the women analyzed the current social and environmental situation and tried to identify the chain of factors that led to certain consequences. This work resulted in identification of the basic needs and helped the participants to realize that their old habits had to be changed in view of the increasing resource scarcity.

The second part of the workshop was equally productive. The participants discussed rational use of natural resources and benefits of adoption of energy saving measures and environmentally friendly technologies. The trainers cited success stories (including examples from neighboring villages) and demonstrated some of the devices. In the course of discussions, the trainers together with the participants tried to understand what reasons prevented women from taking a more active part in the life of their communities, come up with their own solutions for specific problems or elaborate on their own initiatives. A particular emphasis was put on the need for women's self-development and strengthening their role in resource management and decision-making pertaining to local community development.

The training workshop was held in a friendly and open atmosphere. The participants were active, asked a lot of questions, took their training assignments seriously and tried to come up with effective solutions during common discussions. It should be noted that ten out of 15 women were taking part in a training workshop for the first time. In the near future, this group of the fair sex members are to take part in a practical workshop on construction of solar water heaters. Moreover, two most active members of the group will be able to take part in a study tour to the city of Khorog (administrative center of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region).

General profile of the village
The village of Bopasor is located 250 kilometers from Khorog and 190 km from Rushan. The village is situated at the elevation of 3,020 meters above the sea level in the upper portion of the Bartang valley. There are 23 households and 215 residents in the village. Most of the village residents are engaged in self-subsistence farming and keep livestock. Many young people try to leave in search of temporary employment outside the country. A mini-HPP located in the neighboring village has the capacity of 120 kWt and meets the basic power requirements of the local communities. However the limited availability of electricity and high energy tariffs compel local population to make an extensive use of trees and shrubbery as fuel to heat their houses and cook meals.

Anton Timoshenko, Timur Idrisov,
Environmental Organization 'The Little Earth'