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Turning Waste into Energy
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Turning Waste into Energy (Sindhupalchowk district)

With an ongoing fuel crisis across the country, the demand for bio briquette has shoot up as an alternative source for cooking and heating. Over 85 percent of these bio briquettes come from Sindhupalchowk district.

Sher Kumari Shrestha, resident of Attarpur village in Sikre earns her living by making the bio briquette. "I earn Rs 1000 by making 300 briquettes on daily basis," shared Sher Kumari who merely earned 25 rupees before working with the Sikre Bio Briquette Enterprise.

Another entrepreneur Min Kumari Shrestha thinks that bio briquette brought her life on track when she had lost everything and was clueless of any work even months after the devastating quake of last year. "I no longer need to ask for money with anyone. I can buy books and sweets for my children and a beautiful kurta for myself too," said cheerful Min Kumari.

At Sikre-based enterprise, Sher Kumari works along with 35 others who proudly introduce themselves as small entrepreneurs. Together they make 10,000 briquettes on weekly basis. Later, all the briquettes are left to dry up in the sun before packaging.

These entrepreneurs, who initially made the briquette manually, received technical support such as grinders and mixers through the UNDP's Rapid Enterprise and Livelihoods Recovery Project (RELRP) with the financial support from the Australian Aid. The support has multiplied their efficiency for mass production of the briquette to meet the swelled demands.

"We all are still living in temporary shelters and with winter at its peak, bio briquette is not only aiding us to cook but also every night we can cope with the drop in temperature," said the local users of bio briquette unanimously.

The RELRP is also closely working with one of the pioneer bio briquette suppliers - Himalayan Naturals. Back in 2009, the Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) had initiated this project with them for the first time. Since then, MEDEP has provided entrepreneurship training to more than 200 people, mostly women. The support of the RELRP helped regain the momentum to the quake-affected entrepreneurs, thinks Sushil Gyanwali, managing director of the Himalayan Naturals.

"The production of bio briquette in Nepal has drastically increased from 20,000 to nearly one million in since 2009," Gyawali spoke statistically.

Source: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), February 2016
Nepal Earthquakes
April 2015 A M 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal


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