PASSIVE SOLAR HOUSING PROJECT IN WESTERN HIMALAYAS

Improving the winter livelihood of rural population and setting up sustainable network to disseminate energy efficiency in the cold desert of Western Indian Himalayas.

Project Location:
Leh and Kargil districts

Funding Agencies:
European Union, Fondation Ensemble and others

Project Partners:
GERES (France), LNP, LEHO, SECMOL, ECOSPHERE (Spiti)

Duration:
4-year (2008-12)

Context
Shortage of fuel wood and the high price of imported conventional fuels result in a situation of energy vulnerability. Women and children have to devote around two months per summer to fuel wood gathering. Energy vulnerability leads to sub-zero indoor temperatures and consequently unhealthy living conditions in winter. Even if families have plenty of time, few activities are possible during this period due to cold temperature. In this specific context, very few organizations are able to implement development projects. Local NGOs are culturally isolated and lack the capacity to implement projects.
Benefiting from solar energy, the main natural resource of the area, the project proposes to implement energy efficiency activities, combining passive solar architecture and thermal insulation with local materials, to improve access to reliable, sustainable and affordable energy.

Activities

  • Integrating energy efficiency in domestic houses and community buildings
  • Enabling renewed income generation activities
  • Building capacity of civil society organisations
  • Organizing local stakeholders in sustainable networks for implementation and dissemination of energy efficiency measures
  • Reducing the pressure on local and global environment.

Concrete outcomes

  • Integrating energy efficiency in 300 domestic houses and 5 community buildings
  • 15 Self Help Groups and 30 artisans are formed and their skills are strengthened through trainings and exposure visits
  • 30 masons and carpenters from 30 villages are trained and certified in Energy Efficient housing technology
  • Climate Change awareness programme was organised in 43 schools and 40 villages in Changthang, Nubra, Kargil and Zanskar.
  • Awareness and promotion campaign on Energy Efficient housing was conducted in 40 villages in the project area
  • 26 staffs from LEDeG were trained in project management
  • 4 Grassroots level network formed at block headquarters of Durbuk, Kargil and Zanskar for political advocacy and sustainable dissemination and replication of the technology
  • Research works on ‘Environment Impact Assessment’, Climate Change Impact Study, Health Impact Study; thermal monitoring and fuel wood consumption in PSH and non-PSH houses.

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