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Renewable World is a UK-based charity which tackles poverty using innovative renewable energy solutions that help the poorest and hardest-to-reach communities adapt to climate change and mitigate its impact.
NextEnergy Foundation supported Renewable World’s Clean Energy for Health Project (E4H), which aimed to improve health in rural areas of Surkhet District, Nepal, where poor healthcare access and ill-health severely limit opportunities for the poorest. E4H improved health in ten communities by increasing access to energy-enabled healthcare, expanding the services remote health posts can offer, and rolling out improved cook stoves, which will reduce indoor air pollution, reduce the use of firewood and create new livelihoods opportunities for agriculture-dependent communities.
Between 2020-22, E4H was rolled out to six remote communities, benefitting an estimated 7,000 people across Surkhet. NextEnergy Foundation’s support delivered this project in two communities, Baispani and Khanikola.
January 2022 Update: The project is now complete and NextEnergy Foundation is delighted to announce that the overarching outcomes envisaged for the project were met.
Aim One: Installation of solar systems on the community health posts to offer new energy-enabled health services, including refrigerated medicines, vaccinations, and apparatus to treat indoor pollution related illnesses
Outcome One: The solar systems were successfully installed and three people per community trained to operate and maintain the systems. Thanks to the energy-enabled health services which each health post now provides, 95% of the communities’ inhabitants have now been vaccinated.
Aim Two: Ensure access to improved cookstoves for at least 20% households in the communities.
Outcome Two: In the Baispani community, 65 households now have improved cookstoves, and 92 households do in the Khanikhola community. The cookstoves are reducing the negative health impacts of indoor air pollution and ensuring more efficient use of firewood. Renewable World’s evaluation has found a significant decrease in time spent collecting fuel wood due to the increased efficiency of the improved cook stoves. In addition, 99% of users reported seeing the benefits of the improved cookstoves, with the primary benefit being the reduction in indoor air pollution.
Aim Three: Ensure that 100% of households in the two communities are aware of new energy-enabled services available in their community and the benefits they bring.
Outcome Three: A series of workshops were delivered through the health posts to schools and mothers’ groups within the catchment area of the communities. Through the provision of printed materials – which included information on immunisation, handwashing and personal hygiene, COVID-19 precautions, and childhood health and nutrition – and in collaboration with School Management Committees and Mothers’ Groups, 94.4% percent of respondents to Renewable World’s questionnaire at project completion said they are satisfied with the services provided by the community health, a significant increase from just over 3% at baseline.
To ensure a smooth close out of the project, several key activities were carried out, including a review of the project activities by a local appraisal committee (composed of the Rural Municipality chair, vice chair, and chief administrative officer, along with health section chief, ward chairs, and representatives from the six health posts) and a meeting where time was given for different stakeholder groups to discuss and feedback on the project. Overall, the project was extremely well-received, and it was particularly noted that the electrification of the health posts and the delivery of medical equipment had been timely, coming during the COVID-19 pandemic when such services were most needed and when local government budgets had been stretched.
Building on the successful outcomes of this project, and due to the high demand for further such projects from rural municipalities, Renewable World launched a second E4H project in July 2021 which is supporting an additional four off-grid health posts and their surrounding communities, and is considering replicating a similar model in Kenya this year.