In February this year the Ministry of Energy of Honduras (SEN) and SNV signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form an Alliance for the promotion of clean cooking technologies which include improved cookstoves and biogas systems.
The Memorandum emerged from the Voice for Change Association Programme (V4CP) and is valid for one year. SEN and SNV decided to join forces to increase and guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy. This is achieved through the promotion and adoption of improved cookstoves and other clean cooking technologies, such as biogas. These technologies also contribute towards reducing health problems, reducing the consumption of firewood and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.
'We are very concerned about people's health, as well as the damage caused to the environment, which often later translates into greater poverty. According to the latest National Energy Balance, more than one million households – about 25% of urban and 85% of rural households - are still using firewood as the main fuel to cook their food. This partly reflects poverty and inequality and the lack of attention given to this problem in the past,' said the SEN Deputy Minister, Mr Leonardo Derás.
He stressed that all evidence gathered on the lack of access to and poor efficiency of cooking technologies underlines the importance for the country to act. The newly formed Alliance will work in cooperation with SNV and other related organizations to enhance the fruits and successes of upcoming programmes and projects.
Mr Derás indicated that many actors, including the Government of Honduras, have delivered improved cookstoves to almost 500,000 homes in the last six years. This great achievement would not have been possible without the help of organisations such as SNV.
From his part, the director of SNV Central America, Mr. David López acknowledged the joint efforts made by SEN and other actors from the public and private sectors, to improve the quality of life of households in the country. This has been achieved through various activities including enabling environment support, analysis of the biomass sector, configuration and promotion of national strategies and policies, as well as the promotion of efficient biomass technologies and other clean sources of energy.
Mr. López highlighted that the signing of the MoU is strengthening SNV's global strategy for the period 2019 - 2022 to provide sustainable access to clean energy for at least 5 million people worldwide, hopefully, many of those in Honduras.
'Today, more than ever, it is key not to lower our guard, and to give continuity and sustainability to the efforts made to date. New actions are required to increase and guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy, which will contribute to solving health problems, reducing the consumption of firewood and greenhouse gas emissions, and equipping the energy sector with a comprehensive vision of socio-economic development to increase the resilience of the country', added López.
The actions as laid down in the MoU will be implemented by the General Directorate of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency of SEN, and a team of experts from SNV’s sector. Over the past years, SNV has been engaged in the formation of national alliances for clean cooking in several countries including Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh.
For more information contact
Carlos Bueso, SNV Energy Sector Leader for Central America
Judit Vanegas, Communication Advisor, Central America