Featured initiative:

Ecuador Water Project

The Challenge: 

Approximately 10% of the rural population in Ecuador lives without access to electricity. In addition, despite heavily subsidized propane cooking gas, nearly 20% still cook with dangerous, dirty fuels like firewood and charcoal.

Along the coastal region of Ecuador, poor water management and drought conditions are prevalent which have damaged Ecuador’s wealth of rivers, lakes and streams, with serious impacts on human and environmental health. The recent earthquakes in April 2016 have only re-emphasized the long-standing problems with lack of access to clean water, lack of basic sanitation,  inadequate sources and supply of energy, and limited economic productivity that are compounded by geographic isolation and the limited ability of local governments to respond to basic infrastructure needs.

Our Solution: 

Energy for All is partnering with local communities and Green Empowerment to support the WISIONS-funded Growing Esmeraldas with Renewable Energy (CRECER) program in the coastal province of Esmeraldas. This project provides increased economic opportunities to rural cacao farmers in three initial communities through the implementation of agricultural training programs, renewable energy technologies (passive solar dryers and bio-digesters), and independently-funded gravity-fed drinking water systems. The long-term hope is in replicating this integrated project in additional communities throughout the region.

The Impact:

  • Reduce GHG emissions and provide renewable clean cooking fuel to rural families.
  • Train technicians in biogas digester construction, use, and maintenance.
  • Reduce indoor air pollution and therefore respiratory illness and pollution-related diseases.
  • Save significant time on firewood collection and free up time to focus on income generation.
  • Provide opportunities for community involvement to ensure the community members are invested in the efforts.
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How to Get Involved:

Energy For All welcomes involvement on multiple levels that include funding, project participation, and helping to generate local awareness.

Please contact Roselyn Himann at roselyn@energyforall.ca or 403.630.1395 for more information.

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1. The Challenge

Dirty Cooking Fuel

Despite heavily subsidized propane cooking gas, nearly 20% of rural population in Ecuador still cook with dangerous, dirty fuels like firewood and charcoal. When these cooking fuels are burned not only generate indoor air pollution that poses a health risk but also release more GHG emissions to the environment.

Poor Sanitation

Pollution Close to 75% of rural population in Ecuador do not have access to sanitation infrastructure which in addition to contamination from agriculture and animal husbandry, has damaged Ecuador’s wealth of rivers, lakes and streams, with serious impacts on human and environmental health.

Lack of Infrastructure

The geographic isolation of many rural communities in Ecuador’s rainforests and high Andes, coupled with the limited ability of local governments to respond to basic infrastructure needs, slows the progress of energy, drinking water, and sanitation projects, limiting economic productivity and human development.

2. Our solution

Bio-digesters

Energy for All is partnering with local communities and Green Empowerment to support the WISIONS-funded Growing Esmeraldas with Renewable Energy (CRECER) program in the coastal province of Esmeraldas.

Leveraging on Community Strengths

This project provides increased economic opportunities to rural cacao farmers in three initial communities through the implementation of agricultural training programs, renewable energy technologies (passive solar dryers and bio-digesters), and independently-funded gravity-fed drinking water systems. The long-term hope is in replicating this integrated project in additional communities throughout the region.

3. The impact

Biogas Generation

Production of a cleaner cooking fuel that comes from biogas digesters. When used with small-scale livestock husbandry (as few as four pigs or one cow), they offer a range of direct benefits, such as the production of cooking gas as well as organic, nutrient-rich fertilizer. In this regard, water pollution from animal husbandry is also reduced.

For instance, in 2015 Green Empowerment and its partners worked to build 11 biogas digesters.

Improve Life Quality

Improve life quality of the benefited communities. This projects not only reduces indoor air pollution of burning charcoal or wood and respiratory illness but also saves significant time on firewood collection and free up time for the communities to focus on income generation. It also becomes a source of income for the community members that get training in the operation of the system.

For instance, in 2015 Green Empowerment and its partners trained 18 technicians in biogas digester construction, use, and maintenance.

Reduce Pollution

Biogas digesters contributes to climate change mitigation and water pollution reduction. The use of biogas as a cooking fuel reduces the GHG emissions related to the inefficient combustion of charcoal, cutting trees for wood, and non-treated manure. In addition, by collecting and treating the agricultural and animal waste to produce biogas the potential of water contamination from these sources is significantly reduced.