ProBEC activities in Botswana
ProBEC, in cooperation with the "RE Botswana" project (now BPC Lesedi) has embarked on a pilot and rollout of energy services in Botswana. This is facilitated by ProBEC's collaboration with BPC Lesedi, which is a subsidiary of the Botswana Power Corporation. BPC Lesedi is mandated with providing clean and modern energy services to the rural communities of Botswana.
BPC Lesedi wishes to expand its activities throughout the country to reach all low income groups not excluding those in urban and peri
urban areas. It operates as a business franchise in order to empower local entrepreneurs who are interested in starting their own businesses and improving people's livelihoods through ranges of lighting and cooking products. These include rechargeable lanterns, solar PV systems, improved wood stoves, solar cookers and heat retention devices. Various sizes, configurations and packages will be offered for households, enterprises and government facilities. Depending on the item, these products will either be retailed to customers or offered on a fee-for-service basis. As of November 2009, ProBEC activities will be limited to only dissemination of Stovetec and the Hot bags.
"Hotbags” or "heat retained cookers” are light-weight, cloth bag with a hole big enough for inserting a cooking pot. The layered fabric folds of the bag insulate the pot. Food is brought to the boil on a stove and the pot is then transferred into a bag where the food continues to cook for several hours. This is especially suited to beans and other legumes that take a long time to cook.
Aprovecho rocket stove is a charcoal and/or wood burning stove that is imported from China. ProBEC is piloting the stove across SADC.
Ms Abo Tacheba was appointed as the Biomass Energy Officer in the Botswana Power Cooperation (BPC) situated in Lesedi in Botswana. Her background training is in economics and environmental science. Her main duty of appointment will be to develop the biomass energy component of the RE Botswana project on behalf of ProBEC, and will integrate ProBEC technologies in the business proposal of RE Botswana.
Opportunities are also present to introduce institutional stoves which are being investigated.
The Energy Affairs Division (EAD) under the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MMEWR) has also shown support for BPC Lesedi and ProBEC's initiatives. Negotiations are ongoing to have Somarelang Tikologo, an environmental NGO, as a partner, especially for marketing purposes.
The role of the Biomass officer that has been appointed by ProBEC is to integrate the programs of work of BPC Lesedi and ProBEC by promoting the biomass focus and activities within BPC Lesedi with particular reference to efficient cooking appliances (hot bags and efficient wood stoves).
BPC-Lesedi Franchise system and carbon
BPC Lesedi is keen to participate in the development of the ProBEC carbon facility. It is presently reviewing 8 applications for franchisees in the Gaborone area, which is the main region they are concentrating on at this early stage and anticipate awarding up to 5 franchises in Gaborone. It expects to award all remaining franchises in the country by end of May 2010.
Due to the fact that BPC Lesedi works under a franchise system, the question of carbon ownership will be covered by the franchise agreements so that, in effect, ProBEC would only deal with BPC-Lesedi and its regional offices, and they would in turn be responsible for dealing with the franchisees.
ProBEC has agreed to develop a PIN for it, as BPC-Lesedi has recently contacted the DNA which has cleared the way for a quick approval.
The BPC Lesedi is in the process of developing a draft Procedures Manual which includes a section on the carbon credit programme. There are mandatory instructions for all franchisees to collect data and undertake surveying required for Monitoring and Verification (M&V). The manual also includes a draft "Stove Customer Satisfaction Form”.
ProBEC anticipates that the franchise network is a valuable way of collecting reliable M & V data and is ready to train its staff.