Green Innovation and Development Centre

Sustainable Energy Clubs have contributed to developing renewable energy in Nguyen Phich commune

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To improve the citizens’ knowledge of using power efficiently and effectively as well as encourage them to apply sustainable energy models accompanied by reasonably utilizing local natural resources in order to protect the environment are among the objectives of the project “Promoting Sustainable Energy Solutions at Community level in Ca Mau province for better water resource governance in Mekong Basin” that is funded by Oxfam Australia.

In order to achieve such objectives, Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) in coordination with  Women’s Union of Ca Mau province have supported to establish Sustainable Energy Clubs in Nguyen Phich commune, U Minh District, Ca Mau province. In addition to establishing clubs and organizing communication activities to help local citizens know how to utilize energy economically and effectively to protect the environment, the Project Management Board , along with the support of experts managed to train and form technical groups who were enthusiastic and accountable to the citizen’s reliance. This creates more jobs for the residents in the commune and assist them to handle technical problems as well. Moreover, building  local technical teams would contribute to reducing costs of the sustainable energy models which demand sophisticated technical knowledge, providing the local citizens with easier access to these models, and setting out the conditions to promote the sustainable energy models throughout the commune. 
The Club “Women using improved cook -stoves”, which was founded in March 2016, has attracted 23 inhabitants of Hamlet 1 and Hamlet 2 in Nguyen Phich commune. The Club “Women using improved wood burning stove” has  contributed to communicating with many women in both of the hamlets about the benefits of using improved cook -stoves. These stoves can consume a variety of biofuels such as wood, straw, agricultural waste after harvesting, etc. with  a lot of superior advantages including easing the housework, saving fuel, emitting less smoke and being environment-friendly. Besides communication, those clubs have also trained the women to build improved cook stoves. A craftswomen team of six members, therefore, was able to create high-quality but cheaper products as compared to their counterparts in the market. Therefore, they were ordered and purchased by a lot of the hamlet’s local residents.
Mrs. Huynh Thi Bia, a member of the craftswomen team, said: “Having used the improved stoves, several women commented that they consumed so little wood but produced stronger flame and less smoke. It was such an encouraging feedback that we were motivated to produce more stoves for the community. Moreover, we have come up with an idea of further improving the stoves so they can consume both wood and coal. We are planning to experiment next time and hopefully it will be successful.”  Ms. Kieu also said that she was willing to train women from other hamlets how to produce improved stoves, because she hoped that the women in the commune can all gain the benefits of using the improved stoves, and at the same time can contribute to protecting the environment, save costs and createjobs for local women.







Mrs. Huynh Thi Bia with improved stoves she had built herself. (Photo by GreenID)


With the support and consultancy of Women’s Union of Nguyen Phich commune and Women’s Union of Ca Mau province, the improved cook stove model is supposed to be developed all over the commune, which would contribute to increasing the club scale and creating a forum to learn and share the benefits of this model.
In addition to the club “Women using improved cook stoves”, Club “Applying Biogas Model” in Nguyen Phich commune also plays a very active and effective role, attracting a number of local residents’ attention. As an agricultural commune with the high percentage of livestock production, Nguyen Phich commune has long suffered from environmental pollution problems  which have already been set the first priority by the local residents. Using Biogas in cooking is a good solution for local households raising cattle and poultry in Nguyen Phich commune and other rural areas nationwide. This model creates both economic and environmental benefits by helping households reduce costs of energy consumption as well as limiting the negative impacts of livestock production to the environment. The cost of constructing a biogas system, however, is high in comparison with the local residents’ income. We are, therefore, considering the question of reducing the cost of this model and making the technology more accessible to the local residents. Accordingly, GreenID and Women’s Union of Ca Mau province haveorganized workshops in order to give club members instructions and tranings in setting up biogas plastic bag system at their houses. By using this method, the cost of each model has been cut from a range of five to ten million dongs to approximately three million dongs. As a result, the goal that more livestock-raising households will gain the benefits from the biogas models would become more achievable. Moreover, training and building local technical teams is also taken into consideration. Up to now a group of five local craftsmen who are knowledgeable and confident enough to consult, construct and instruct people in the communes to use the model effectively and sustainably have been working actively
The club “Applying Biogas Model”, which includes 21 households from hamlet 6 and hamlet 17 either applying or going to build biogas models, have operated since March 2016. In the near future, the number of members will be increased especially after the number of clubs have been replicated all over 20 hamlets of the whole commune.


The local technical team are building a model for a household in the commune. (Photo by GreenID)

Mr. Phan Van Doi, a member of the technical team said that his family was also using biogas system from his family’s goat manure that was built by himself and his teammates. After one month of anaerobic digestion process, Mr. Doi’s family can use biogas for cooking every day, which is far more convenient and economical than before.



Biogas model applied in Mr. Doi, hamlet 6, Nguyen Phich commune, U Minh district, Ca Mau province. (Photo by GreenID)


Hopefully, both communication activities and benefits of sustainable energy models will be frequently promoted all over the commune’s hamlets in the following period. As a result, more households in Nguyen Phich commune will  apply and to earn benefits from those sustainable energy models, contributing to their living environment, new rural and socio-economic development.

Author: Do Xuan Hoan – GreenID’s Project Officier. 
Translator: Nhu Lien