Making strides towards clean cooking in Bangladesh
Clean cooking is not just a necessity; it's a transformative force that can change millions of lives. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Bangladesh, a rapidly growing economy where traditional cooking methods using wood, charcoal, and diesel have long been the norm. While ingrained in culture, these age-old practices have dire consequences for public health and the environment.
In Bangladesh, 74% of households still rely on traditional biomass-based cooking methods, primarily wood and charcoal. This reliance leads to indoor air pollution, causing respiratory diseases, particularly affecting women and children who spend substantial time in the kitchen. The excessive use of biomass fuels also contributes to deforestation, and environmental degradation, exacerbating the country's vulnerability to natural disasters. Clean cooking technologies offer a way out of this predicament, promising improved public health, conservation of natural resources, and mitigation of climate change impacts.
The SEE-HTCC project
Enter the "Strengthen Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for High-Tier Clean Cooking" (SEE-HTCC) project, funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and supported by the Government of Bangladesh. This ambitious initiative, jointly implemented by SNV and Practical Action, seeks to transform how Bangladesh cooks its meals.
The SEE-HTCC project takes a multifaceted approach:
Pipeline development: Forging ahead by creating a pipeline of innovative clean cooking solutions.
Access to finance: Ensuring financial resources are readily available to support 'Inclusive Green Development' in Bangladesh.
Enabling environment: Working to create a regulatory environment that fosters the growth of clean cooking solutions.
Making clean cooking accessible
A significant focus of the project is making clean cooking accessible and affordable. Through innovative financing models and partnerships with local stakeholders, we're driving the adoption of modern electric cooking appliances (MECA) in rural areas. Our Results-Based Financing (RBF) model incentivizes MECA marketers to expand their reach, making clean cooking solutions accessible to marginalized households.
But it's not just about technology; it's about people. We're empowering local entrepreneurs with a particular focus on women and youth-led initiatives. Our Clean Cooking Incubator, initiated by SNV, provides mentorship, funding, and expertise to startups, ensuring the sustainability of the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) market in Bangladesh.
We're not alone in this endeavour. We actively engage with national-level stakeholders, aligning with the National Action Plan 2030, to create a supportive policy and regulatory environment for clean cooking solutions.
The SEE-HTCC project embarks on an exciting journey towards clean cooking by promoting electricity-based modern cooking in peri-urban areas of Bangladesh. We're addressing a pressing need, strengthening micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, and empowering women and youth in the process. Our collaborative approach paves the way for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Bangladesh, aligned with the National Action Plan 2030.