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10 October, 2015 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 October, 2015 11:22:59 PM

Eco-friendly ‘Bondhu Chula’ in the offing

3cr clay-cooking stoves will be replaced with the eco-friendly variety by 2021
Eco-friendly ‘Bondhu 
Chula’ in the offing

Department of Environment (DoE) and German International Cooperation (GIZ) have set a target to replace Bangladesh's around three crore traditional clay-cooking stoves with improved and eco-friendly ones by 2021 in a bid to reduce fuel consumption, air pollution and health hazards significantly, reports UNB. According to DoE and GIZ, the country can save around Tk 35,00 crore and around 46,000 lives annually, and avoid the emission of nearly six crore tonnes of Carbon Dioxide only by bringing nearly 3 crore households under the use of improved cooking stoves, popularly known as 'Bondhu Chula'. A study conducted by the DoE and GIZ shows that Bangladeshi households on average burn about 80 million tonnes of biomass like wood, rice husks, leaves, cow dung, jute sticks and other agricultural waste, every year for cooking, and they mostly use inefficient and poorly ventilated clay stoves that produce smokes, carbon monoxide, and carcinogens.
The World Health Organization has estimated that 46,000 women and children die each year in Bangladesh as a direct result of exposure to indoor air pollution caused by the smokes of the cooking stoves, while millions more suffer from respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, eye problems, and lung cancer.
Under the circumstances, the DoE and GIZ have set a target to replace the traditional clay stoves with eco-friendly and fuel-saving Bondhu Chula by 2021 said GIZ project manager Dr M Khalequzzaman. He said 'Bondhu Chula' is designed to draw off the smoke and toxins, thus creating a safer environment for women and children. Khalequzzaman said if all the households, now use traditional stoves, come under the coverage of 'Bandhu Chula' use by 2021, it will save 40 million tonnes of wood and other fuel materials worth about Tk 35,00 crore a year.
Besides, he said, it will help save 32,000 children and 14,000 women die now every year by inhaling smokes from the traditional clay-cooking stoves. "The climate change impact will also be eased to some extant as 'Bondhu Chula' will check emission of over six crore tonnes of Carbon Dioxide."
The GIZ project manager said the main source of cooking fuel in rural areas and even at many parts of cities is wood as only seven to eight percent people enjoying gas supply facilities. DoE additional director general Quazi Sarwar Imtiaz Hashmi said the low-cost 'Bondhu Chula' produces no smoke in the kitchen, increases energy efficiency by 30 percent and saves fuel by 50 percent compared to traditional stoves. He said it is necessary to popularise 'Bondhu Chula' everywhere both in rural and urban areas in the greater national interest. "The use of 'Bondhu Chula' can save up to 90 percent fuel cost of a family benefiting them in many ways, including cooking time." In 2012, Hashmi said Bangladesh Climate Change Trust, DoE and GIZ jointly undertook a project, 'Market Development Initiative for Bondhu Chula', aiming to install 500,000 stoves throughout Bangladesh by March 2014.
On successful completion of the project, he said, they have now taken another project to set up 400,000 more improved stoves by December 2016. Hashmi, however, said bigger projects are needed to reach their target of installing three crores improved stoves in all the districts of the country by 2021.
GIZ project manager Khalequzzaman said nearly 17 lakh Bondhu Chulas have so per been installed in the country since 2006 and 12 lakh of them with the lone initiative by GIZ. He said they have taken another project with financial assistance from India for installing 70,000 improved cooking stoves in eight upazilas of the country by November 2016.
Suchitra Hajong, communication manger Bondhu Chula Programme, said in the early 1980s, a group of scientists at the Institute of Fuel Research and Development (IFRD) of the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, led by Dr AM Hasan Rashid Khan developed the improved stove and GIZ introduced concrete version of Bondhu Chula in 2010. She said so far, around 5800 sanitary shop owners have become Bondhu Chula entrepreneurs and offer the stove for around Tk 800- 1200. From the BCCT (Bangladesh Climate Change Trust) a grant of Tk 200-700 depending on the financial condition of the consumers is provided to make the stove affordable.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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