Respect for ecology built into a Model for self-financing, ecological, sustainable, local integrated development projects for the world’s poor.

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Respect for ecology built into a Model for self-financing, ecological, sustainable, local integrated development projects for the world's poor.


The Model is in the public domain and available for use free of charge. It can be downloaded from website


This articles shows why projects under the Model are 100% ecological and energy neutral.


08.30 Files some of the ecological aspects of the project.


08.30.01 Introduction

The project is 100% ecological.

It is based on the use of renewable energies, and in particular on the use of solar photovoltaic cells to power  the distributed drinking water structures. The eco-sanitation structures planned compost waste materials on site. Urine and faeces never come into contact either with drinking water or with surface or underground waters.

Non-organic wastes are collected and recycled where possible under the local money systems set up for productive uses within the project area .

The use of  high efficiency stoves eliminate smoke and fine particles hazards inside and around users' homes. The replacement of fire-wood and charcoal by locally made min-briquettes safeguards forests and minimises CO2 emissions. The project should in principle qualify for CER (carbon emission reduction) certificates under the Kyoto treaty, the sale of which can contribute to the financing of  project activities.

The local production of items made from gypsum composites is also entirely ecological. The working cycle is such that the very small quantity of water needed during one phase of the cycle are recycled in a second phase of the cycle without the loss of any used or dirty water into the environment. Gypsum composite products are themselves 100% ecological. They are always repairable. Should they no longer be needed, they can be returned to the production units for 100% recycling to make new products. Material used is never lost to the environment, but even if it were, would not harm persons or things.

The use of gypsum composite materials may well cause fine dust in areas immediately surrounding the production units and the quarries. For this reason, the working of gypsum composites in restricted areas should always be accompanied by means of protection for eyes and lungs. The project involves manual mining and manual working of materials on a very small scale, to the order of a few hundred tons a year.

The quarrying of gypsum can in principle cause the need to re-locate a few families whose homes may be situated directly on the gypsum deposits. The amounts of gypsum required, are however, so small that the need to re-locate anyone is considered extremely remote.

Exploitation rights relating to the gypsum deposits are held by the project on behalf of the inhabitants of the community where the gypsum deposits are situated.  Used  quarry areas will be turned into useful local social structures according to the preferences expressed by the inhabitants, who are also the owners of the land.


08.30.02 Waste recyclingstructures.


The system for the collection of recycling of waste waters, urine, excreta, other organic solids, non-organic solids will be set up during Moraisian organisation workshops held for the purpose. This section refers to the planned recycling network as a whole. For technical details on the recycling of organic waste, please refer to The following is an indication of the type of structure which would be expected to emerge during the workshops.

The operations will take place under the local money LETS systems. A separate interest-free credit fund is provided in the budget for purchase of equipment which is not available locally and/or which has to be paid for in formal currency.

In principle, the equipment used should not require the consumption of imported energy (electricity, diesel, petrol etc) which causes an on-going financial leakage from the project area. Transport distances should be kept as short as possible.

The following drawings and graphs form an integral part of this project proposal.


Detailed technical information on the treatment of grey water is included in attachment 24.

The main principles behind the proposed system are:


– (a) Recycling should always be done at the lowest possible level, starting with the individual user.
– (b) Recycling at a second level should also be done as late as possible during the composting cycle to reduce the volume of material handled.
– (b) The whole system should be operated within the local (LETS) currencies.
– (b) Capital investment for recycling equipment, transport and storage under 5) and 6) will be a priority for Micro-credit loans.
– (e) "Dirty" work will be better paid than "clean" work in the LETS systems, because the rate of pay will reflect the willingness of workers to do the work. Those doing unpleasant work will have an above-average income within the LETS systems so that there should be no difficulty finding people to do the work.
– (f) Waste should, as far as possible, be recycled within the project area so communities are self-sufficient and there is no leakage of formal money from the system. In particular, materials like metals, paper, plastics can often be treated at local level for use in local industries creating jobs and local value added during both treatment and production. The principle also promotes the export of re-cycled products for formal currency which will be used to repay the interest free micro-credits loans.
– (g) Lucrative job possibilities are created within the system.
– (h) Export and sale of selected non-organic solid waste through the recycling centres for formal currency so micro-credits for re-cycling operation can be repaid.
– (i) Selected non-organic solid waste products will treated locally and recycled as raw material for local artisan industries.
– (j) Interest free micro-loans for compost collectors under 5) above may need to be for a longer term than other micro-credits as most of the compost will be recycled within the local currency system. Some of the compost collection charges may have to be in formal currency or the equipment may need to be used part-time outside the LETS systems to help earn formal currency to repay the micro-credit loans.
– (k) Recycling of special industrial and medical wastes to be addressed separately.

– (l) The use of throw-away waste products without value added, such as product packaging, is discouraged.

– (m) Repairable goods will be repaired at project level under the local money LETS system set up. Spare parts not locally available will be charged in formal money at their original imported formal money price. 


08.30.03 Structures for the elimination of smoke hazards from homes.


For a complete description see section 05.35 Smoke hazard elimination structures.

See also the article PV and biomass aspects of sustainable self-financing integrated development projects and their financing  prepared for the Conference on Renewable Energies for Rural Dveleopment, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 19-21 January 2002.

Aeration, and in particular the elimination of smoke in and around homes in developing countries is one of the most important aspects for a healthy life. It is  widely overlooked.

In poor countries, and in particular in Africa, the most widely used source of energy is biomass in the form of wood, charcoal, crop wastes, and animal dung. 2.4 billion people use this biomass for cooking purposes. If coal is included the figure becomes 3 billion. This causes at least 1.6 million deaths per year (ITDG rapport "Smoke – The Killer in the Kitchen", 2003; see also WHO World Health Report 1992;) including nearly a million children. The level of air pollution in the homes of the poorest in developing countries can be 100 times higher than the maximum acceptable levels for health purposes. An article in "The Lancet", edition 6 December 2003, "Report highlights hazard of smoke from indoor fires" reports:

"… extensive and long term exposure to combustion products in confined environments is a major cause of disease …. this is a priority area for research and prevention measures".

Not only individual homes but entire villages are subjected to the smoke hazard two or three times per day around the time when meals are being prepared.

Projects under the Model must therefore introduce locally built high efficiency cooking stoves to reduce and if possible eliminate the smoke hazard from family homes and villages. The ecological advantages and CO2 savings initiatives relating to and the economic aspects of the introduction of high efficiency stoves in project areas are discussed in detail in chapter 4.

Construction of stoves.

Construction of mini-briquettes.

Bio-mass for mini-briquettes.

Projects, at least in theory, can qualify for Carbon Emission Reduction Certificates under the Kyoto Treaty. Within the framework of self-financing integrated development projects there is a market for 20.000 – 30.000 high efficiency cookers in at least 10.000 families. Assuming a fuel saving of 6.5 kg/day of fuel in each family, savings amount to 65 tons of wood per day or 23725 tons per year. Converted into tons of CO2, that is 18705 tons of CO2 per year. Assuming a market value of  Euro 24 per ton of CO2, this amounts to a credit of nearly €450.000 per project per year to which other cost and time savings can be added. Over ten years this alone would be enough to finance the project. As described in 09.33 CER certificates Kyoto Treaty : programme of activities as a single CDM project activity some timid steps are being taken to help groups of smaller projects participate in emission rights trading.  Carefully managed high application and compliance costs have so far kept them out.


08.30.04 Use of renewable energies.


See the following articles:


New horizons for  renewable energy technologies in poverty alleviation projects , published in "Refocus" October, 2001 pages 22-25.

PV and biomass aspects of sustainable self-financing integrated development projects and their financing, article prepared for the Conference on Renewable Energies for Rural Development, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 19-21 January 2002.

PV, a cornerstone of sustainable self-financing integrated development projects for poverty alleviation in developing countries, presented at the 17th European Photovoltaic Energy Conference, Munich, 22-26 October 2001.


Financial leakage from poor areas caused by the importation of energy, including energy produced in other areas of the project's host country, is one of he main causes of poverty. This bitter reality means that to stop the financial leakage importation of energy into the project area must be stopped.  This means that energy consumed in the project area must be produced there. Since the project area has no existing energy distribution network the production of energy for local use must necessarily be decentralised. Since the amount of energy which can be locally produced is limited, priorities for energy applications have to be rigorously defined. An attempt must be made to reach an ethical balance between the benefits of structures and their cost. The project covers the cost of energy resources for public services. The costs of energy resources for local productivity increase are covered under the 05.22 Interest-free cooperative micro-credit structures. The cost of energy resources for individual comfort purposes are not covered directly by the project, which however supports the formation of voluntary cooperative purchasing groups.


Typical projects provide for the installation of about 200 solar pumping systems, with photovoltaic panels with an installed power of 60 KW ; the isntallation of PV systems in schools and clinics ; and 200 PV lighting systems for study purposes.


The project also offers possibilities for small scale local generation of renewable energies for specific activities such as small milling installations and other similar public services. For more information refer to A green oil for the world. Locally grown fuels for generators. (By courtesy of Sun & Wind Energy Magazine);  LED lights for lighting. Information from the Light Up the World Foundation;  Plant oil for small-scale energy generation.


08.30.05 Natureconservation.


Natural parks and reserves


The [name of park/reserve] forms part of the project area. It was placed under the management of [name] by law/decree [number] dated [date].


The [name of park/reserve] has inestimable ecological value and its conservation for the benefits of the present and future generations is in jeapardy due to chronic lack of financing.


Interesting possibilities exist for productive cooperation between the inhabitants of the project area , through the structures set up in the course of project execution, and the management of the reserve, to set up a sustainable development of this resource. 


The reserve management may become member if the local money system set up by the project. This way it can make use of local  labour and services without needing any formal money. The services can include maintenance, reforestation, guards, conservation of fauna and flora, and the construction of infrastructures. The park management may request the isntallation of photovoltaic watering points for animals in the reserve.


The costs expressed in local money debits to the charge of the Park Management can be discharged through strictly sustainable managment of resources including the sale of wood (timber), meat, commercial tourist licences etc.




Nurseries, especially for the cultivation of native trees, including fruit trees, will be formed as commercial activities under the local money system set up, with financing of necessary imported items  under the interest-free micro-credit structures. Fruit trees will be planted along paths between villages and in public places and placed under the management of needy families.


Cooperative seed bank.


The project will set one or more seed banks up under the local money system. The seed bank(s) will serve :


a) For the reintroduction and conservation of local and regional plant sorts threatened with extinction.

b) The preparation and conservation of seeds for local farmers.

c) The conservation and reintroduction of traditionally used medicinal plants.


08.30.06 Food and water security in times of drought and crisis.


In the case of serious drought for extensive periods of from 2 to 3 years no community in the world whether in the North or in the South, whether industrialised or under development would be able to survive without help from outside. In past periods of human history people may sometimes have been free to migrate to areas which had remained green and fertile. Demographic pressures in the modern world are such that this is very rarely an option in our times.


Project areas under the Model undoubtedly enjoy a greater resistance to droughts and other crises than most other communities. However, they cannot offer total guarantees against disaster.


For example, recommended solar pumps work at total heads up to 150 meters. This allows interested parties working where there is a risk of long-term drought or other serious climatic crises to deepen boreholes to reach a lower (and presumably safer) aquifer. It is also possible to increase the power installed with each pump from 300Wp to 400Wp, to help compensate the higher heads involved. Increase in installed power can also be introduced gradually, according to specific risks or requirements. Should a choice be made to allow extra margins from the beginning, provision should be made under item 70101 (Borehole construction) for an extra sum of Euro 250.000, and under item 70204 (solar PV panels) for an extra sum of Euro 125.000. Since reserves are inadequate to cover these increases, the total project budget should be increased to Euro 5.350.000- Euro 5.500.000.


Under conditions of extended drought for 2-3 years, reserves of harvested rain-water will have run out. There will be no surface water available, and perhaps no water left in rivers. The only water available to the inhabitants will be the 25 litres per person per day from their deep well sources. The system of recycling of urine and grey waters will enable people to recycle this water to produce a minimum food supply in their roof-top or vertical gardens to survive.


The recommended solar pumps also have the feature that they can be installed at any depth below the level of the water in the borehole. It is therefore possible to take strong fluctuations in the water level in the borehole into account to cover situations of severe water draw-down during the day in conditions of slow borehole replenishment. However, where night-time replenishment becomes insufficient to compensate for extra drawings during the day, the quantity of water pumped must be reduced either by turning the PV arrays out of the sun or by reducing the number of pumps in operation. As users start receiving less than 25 litres per person per day their general situation will become more and more critical.


Plant nurseries will be set up under the local money system created by the project. Tens of thousands of fruit and vegetable oil trees will be planted in the project area. The trees will take several years to sink deep roots and create relative immunity from drought conditions. Once they have done this they will form a second source of food in hard times.



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