The Bhutan Biogas Project (BBP), a joint programme of Asian Development Bank, Department of Renewable Energy, Department of Livestock, SNV and Bhutan Development Bank is being implemented in four districts since March 2011.
This annual report gives an overview of activities conducted and results achieved in the period between March 2011 and February 2012 as well as a financial statement till the end of December 2011 per activity. Furthermore the report also contains information on the sector situation, BBP structure and implementation modality. This report also incorporates lessons learnt mainly from field, opportunities and challenges to implement biogas project in Bhutan.
Concluding, BBP has been successful in carrying out preliminary activities aimed at identification of critical mass, preparation of promotional tools, awareness raising at the community and households level, capacity building of stakeholders, technical training to masons and supervisors, and commencement of construction of biogas plants. The number of plants installed is bit short of the set target because of various reasons. BBP is fully satisfied with the progress and feels that a strong foundation has been built to disseminate biogas technology in the future. All the installed plants are functioning satisfactorily, and the users are happy with the performance of their biogas plants. These functional plants have been spreading positive message to potential farmers to install biogas plants. BBP is confident that the positive words of mouth from the satisfied users would be instrumental in speedy promotion and extension of biogas technology in the country.
A feasibility study conducted in Bhutan in 2008 concluded that a small scale domestic biogas program is possible with a technical potential of about 20,000 biogas plants especially in the southern belt and inner mountain valleys. The key question for the development of a substantial biogas program was whether the households having enough number of cattle to install biogas plant are willing and able to invest in it and to feed the plant with the required amount of manure on a daily basis. Hence this market study was conducted to analyze the technical and socio-economic feasibility of biogas program, which assessed the willingness and affordability of livestock keeping households to invest in biogas technology.
Half the population depended on agriculture and is therefore based in the village implying that the biogas plants (home-based) can be managed. Farmers have sufficient land to install biogas plants and slurry pits although location of the cowsheds may not always be near the houses and kitchens in some of the households. There were substantial differences in income among sampled households. Some implied living under poverty while some did not earn any income. Those at the lower rung of the income ladder may not be able to afford to invest in biogas plants unless some financing incentives are provided.
In general, farmers owned cattle and other smaller livestock. Most farmers qualify to install biogas since the majority own more than 3 cattle with the average cattle holding being 6 cattle, most of which are night stalled cattle.
Approximately 70% of households in Bhutan’s capital city of Thimphu rely on onsite sanitation because the centralised sewerage systems are currently not economically viable or out of reach. Towns continue to promote onsite sanitation with an increasing use of septic tanks but without a corresponding focus on developing sludge management services. The growing environmental health issues around faecal sludge disposal are difficult to ignore with leaking tanks, infrequent and unsafe emptying in urban settings.
This REDD+ feasibility and scoping study is based on a short and condensed stakeholder consultation process with key agencies and officials of a series of government institutions, NGO’s and multilateral organizations. The constructive, critical and sometimes blunt insights, views and comments on REDD+ potential and feasibility in Bhutan are highly appreciated and are essential building stones of this report. The scope of this study is to keep momentum in introducing REDD+ in Bhutan and to asses the nations capacity and knowledge base, essential for compliance and voluntary market entrance, combined with an overall analysis if it is worthwhile to commit to the REDD mechanism, weighing its advantages and disadvantages, scoping the potential and possible impact and contribution to the development goals of RGoB. The study started with a stakeholder consultation of all key agencies and organisations from December 7 to 16 2010, seeking their expert knowledge and insights and benefited from the feedback of many stakeholders participating in the debriefing of the key findings and recommendations on December 20th 2010.
Feasibility of a biogas programme in Bhutan (2008).
This report assesses the feasibility of establishing and implementing a National Domestic Biogas Programme (NDBP) in Bhutan by relying on field visits, and meetings with government officials and households.
The general study findings indicated that a small NDBP would be feasible in Bhutan (20,000 plants). There were sufficient numbers of cattle for dung. Further, investment return on biogas in relation to Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), firewood, and electricity was considered financially beneficial. Another positive outcome was the high governmental interest in promoting and committing to the biogas programme. Given that collaboration with Renewable Energy Division was established, the Department of Livestock would be the most suitable implementation partner. Challenges that needed to be dealt with before establishing the programme were also evident. One such issue was the small size of the biogas sector in the country, which is likely to discourage private sector from involvement in plant construction. Further, biogas could not be produced everywhere in the country due to low temperature, irrespective of the sufficient number of cattle available. Construction and maintenance services would also be difficult as there are no motor roads to the scattered houses.
Based on the strengths and threats identified, recommendations for future steps in the realization of the
programme were designed. Some of them included the need for knowledge transfer from Nepal to Bhutan, as a similar biogas model has been promoted and proven to be successful in Nepal and in mountain regions. All other comprehensive recommendations can be found in the report.
This report documents the formative research of sanitation behaviours in Pemagatshel Dzongkhag undertaken as part of the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Health. The overall objective of this research was to identify opportunity, ability and motivations of selected sanitation related behaviours in the district. The qualitative research design used the SaniFOAM framework as a means of organizing and analyzing the behavioural determinants. The research was conducted to provide the basis for the design of an evidence-based behaviour change communication strategy for the District in 2012 to improve access to improved sanitation and safe hygiene practices.
Official coverage figures for rural water supply make us hopeful - MDG targets for water will likely be met. Yet, the disappointing reality is that only a fraction of this is functional and providing regular water supply that is safe for drinking. The premature deterioration of ‘improved’ water supply makes unreliable and unsafe water services a daily reality for large parts of the rural population in Asia.
SNV recognises that providing functional and sustainable water supply services is a challenge that goes far beyond coverage at a given point in time. Increased capacity at all levels is essential for sustainability.
This Practice Brief highlights various approaches used to promote gender equality in the agriculture; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); and renewable energy (RE) sectors in Asian countries. SNV Asia has provided extensive capacity-building support in these sectors while putting ‘inclusive development’ at the forefront of the development agenda. The Practice Brief is an attempt to document practices from the field based on successful experiences of SNV in Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Nepal and Vietnam. It aims to be a quick reference for development practitioners (within and outside SNV) who are committed to mainstream gender in these three sectors.
Poor sanitation is one of the leading causes of diarrhoeal diseases, which kill hundreds of people including children around the world everyday. The story in Bhutan is not any different either. The sanitation coverage in terms of presence of toilet in Bhutan is 91% and in the case of water supply, 84.5% of households had access to water supply in 2009, and 80.1% of the households had functional piped water schemes. However despite these good figures, the incidence of illness due to water and sanitation-related diseases is still high and the figure for under-five child mortality is one of the highest in South Asia (85/1000 live birth).
This is thought to be due to continued poor hygiene practice and in particular the poor state of latrines and associated facilities. Although the construction coverage of latrines is relatively high, the conditions are thought to be very poor and the amount of use low.
The Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Programme (RSAHP) co-ordinated by Public Health Engineering Division (PHED) under the Ministry of Health with technical assistance from SNV Netherlands Development Organisation had been assisting the primary client in rural areas by developing new approaches to improving the overall sanitation and hygiene practices in the rural communities in Bhutan. The initial programme area starting in 2008 was in the four pilot Geogs of Nanong (Pemagatshel), Hiley (Sarpang), Laya (Gasa) and Jarey (Lhuentse). The programme was later upscaled to the whole Dzongkhag of Lhuentse covering 7 more Geogs (Kurtoe, Khoma, Gangzur, Metsho, Menbi, Minjay and Tsenkhar) in June 2010.
There were two primary objectives under the RSAHP. Firstly, to explore, adapt and pilot best international practices to develop a model that can be rolled out country-wide. The model to be explored and piloted included an approach termed Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), of which the outcome is measured in a complete end to open defecation and unsanitary conditions for entire communities rather than in terms of individual household latrine construction coverage. Secondly to study, explore and pilot sustainable, affordable and appropriate sanitation technologies in the programme areas. This handbook is a result of this second primary objective of the programme.
In the remote area of Lhuentse in Eastern Bhutan, lack of access to improved sanitation and a high incidence of poverty continue to persist. SNV Bhutan, together with the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Programme of the Ministry of Health, collaboratively engage in qualitative research to identify support mechanisms to assist people living in poverty to meet their aspirations for improved hygiene and sanitation.
This paper highlights an approach that employs a research methodology based on inclusion and participation, which allows communities to define their own access barriers and suggest possible solutions for improved sanitation. This community reflection results in raised awareness of the collective responsibility for sanitation,promotes the mobilisation of local leaders to source materials and labour for construction, and encourages transparency at a local level by enabling open discussion.
The paper is part of a new publication "Towards Inclusive WASH: Sharing evidence and experience from the field" supported by AusAID’s Innovations Fund. This publication is a record of the sector's efforts to achieve equity and inclusion in WASH programming around the world. It includes one keynote paper and 16 case studies from a wide range of organisations in 13 countries and with examples from urban, rural and school WASH programming. The case studies provide stories of policy, technology and process innovations through four lenses: Poorest of the poor, Living with HIV and AIDS, Disability and Gender.
This work on Rural Sanitation Supply Chains and Finance is part of the SNV/IRC Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All programme, which aims to improve the health and quality of life of rural people in five Asian countries (Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal and Vietnam) through enhanced access to improved sanitation and hygiene practices. It has four integrated technical components, strengthening local capacities for a rural sanitation service delivery with a district-wide approach. An additional cross-cutting regional component of the programme focusses on analysis, dissemination, and learning.
This Brief shares some of the lessons learned from working on the Rural Sanitation Supply Chains and Finance. It also introduces the thinking behind its design and its main activities.