Nepali Times Asian Paints
Interview
"A model for the rest of the world"


NARESH NEWAR


A self-taught engineer who never went to university.

What is your overall impression about biogas development in Nepal?
All we did was try to show the way, I never thought it would be such a big hit.Nepal's biogas program is now an international model. It is amazing to see how a little project we started in Butwal has now turned Nepal into a global rural development phenomenon. I'm so proud of Nepal and the BSP and SNV have done a great job.

What was the reason for this success?
To start with, Nepal has quality designs. Around 1978, we were trying to find out how to build a market and commercialise biogas on a large scale. We prioritised the technical and engineering aspects trying out 10 different designs to find the cheapest and best option that suited Nepal, requiring minimum maintenance. We worked on appliances, stoves, gas stops which were all manufactured here.

Who has benefited the most?
Rural Nepal, and I feel especially happy for the women and children who are now less burdened with gathering firewood. They save a lot of money from medical checkups because they used to work in smoke-filled kitchens before. They used to suffer from eyesores and lung problems. But not anymore.

Has it also helped the people financially?
They have saved money by using biogas. And a lot of jobs have been generated for villagers. Many are working as masons and technicians to install as well as maintain the plants.

And the future? What is there left to do?
There are still tens of thousands of gobar gas plants to be built. The gobar gas worked so well that the country now has scope in applying the renewable energy technology in electricity generation and solar energy.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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