atmosfair contributes to the reconstruction in Nepal which is unfortunately still progressing very slowly. Hundreds of thousands of houses have been destroyed and almost 9,000 people were killed during the earthquakes in April and May 2015. Moreover, many biogas plants have been damaged which were built thanks to atmosfair´s climate protection fees. Until today, atmosfair got 310 plants repaired in Bhimtar, Sindupalchok, allowing for the households to return to normality.
Even before the earthquake, the village of Bhimtar, encompassing 900 households and located 30km east of Kathmandu, had already been one of the poorest communities in the Sindupalchok district. Sindupalchok was hit particularly hard during the earthquakes: In Bhimtar, all homes were partly or completely destroyed, including more than 300 biogas plants of the commune. Most inhabitants are so poor that they are still living in temporary shelters out of bamboo and straw and they cannot afford a repair of their biogas plants.
This is especially unfortunate as biogas plants are very popular in rural Nepal: Thanks to them, households are able to cook smoke-free and cost-effective. Moreover, biogas plants are true climate protectors: Each one is saving three tons CO2 per year compared to the traditional three-stone-fire. Local communities had to fall back on those, since the earthquakes had damaged the biogas plants. The carbon black harms people´s respiratory tracts. In addition, households must spend more time and money to get firewood for cooking.
Our project partner BSP-N (Biogas Sector Partnership Nepal) is coordinating the reconstruction process. BSP-N is one of the most experienced actors in the Nepalese biogas sector. Its manager Bala Ram Shretsha is standing up whole-heartedly for the wider distribution of the technology in his country. This is why repairs have been going on fast and efficiently. Mostly small parts had many defects such as valves, gas taps, manometers or hosepipes and thus had to be replaced. Other parts like inlets or gas cookers could be fixed in most cases.
atmosfair´s consultant Bhai Maharja found the villagers very happy at his evaluation visit. “The repair of the biogas plants means a step forward towards everyday life for many people”, according to Maharjan. Biogas user Bharar Danuwar and her family are finally able to cook on this innovative technology again. “We are so happy and grateful that our biogas plant is working again: Now we can cook three meals a day and we don´t have to worry where to get the firewood from. After the earthquakes we had to burn the wood of our broken homes. However, this is already used up by now.”
But our pilot project did not only make a difference in Bhimtar: After the successful restorations, the German “Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau” (KfW, a German credit institute for reconstruction) and the Nepalese Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (APEC) decided to expand the programme on other districts, too. We are very pleased to continue the cooperation as the major part of the earthquake damages is not yet reconstructed.
We were able to finance the repair measures, which are now completed, thanks to generous donations of our patron and climate scientist Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif. Having received the “Deutscher Umweltpreis” (a national German environmental award) in 2015, Mr. Latif donated the whole prize money to our projects. The fixing of the biogas plants is part of our initiative “New energy for Nepal” which was started by atmosfair and the German association of sustainable tour operators “forum anders reisen” after the earthquakes in 2015.
Read more about our engagement in Nepal and help us:
Biogas project: With your donation for climate protection you are supporting the construction of new biogas plants in Nepal. Please find more information on the project and possibilities to donate here:
Biogas repair: We would like to repair additional 56 biogas plants in the Helambu region. Find out more about the project and visit us on betterplace:
New energy for Nepal: If you would like to support further reconstructions of biogas plants in Nepal or the development of the first climate friendly Trek in Nepal, please visit our project website https://www.atmosfair.de/en/neue_energie_nepal.