Tarayana promotes the use of appropriate green technologies for the purpose of creating more jobs, reducing unnecessary drudgery, improving living conditions and creating sufficient time for gainful engagement. We believe that development need not compromise our environment: in fact, if integrated judiciously, they can enhance each other. Green technologies currently being promoted and adopted by communities are:
Gravity Goods Rope way
The gravity goods rope way that was installed in 2013 linking Chanju and Thrikka villages in Samtse Dzongkhag, is an environment-friendly, sustainable and low-cost rural transportation. The 980 meters long rope way benefits more than 150 households. Since the installation of the rope way, community members have been exporting cardamom (their main source of income) in the most efficient manner. This service is also utilized to bring in home supplies, construction materials and household items at the most convenient and economical means.
Solar Dryers and Bio-sand water filters
The annual collaboration with the College of Science & Technologies (CST) in Rinchendhing, Phuentsholing has resulted in the development of easy to use cost effective green technologies for the communities. Two technologies successfully adopted by the communities in Dagana and Sarpang Dzongkhags are the solar dryers and the bio-sand water filters in Samtse.
Solar dryers are introduced in order to foster sustainable development, which allows the communities to continue to derive incomes from agriculture using improved sustainable techniques of food preservation and reducing CO2. The driers help the farmers preserve their excess produce for use during the lean season and have contributed to their food security and nutrition enhancement as well as income generation through the sale of solar dried vegetables and fruits.
A bio-sand filter is a simple type of water purification system that uses sand, gravel, gravity and some simple engineering to purify contaminated water. Its structure is generally made of concrete or plastic and is filled with layers of gravel and sand that encourage the growth of good microbes that are naturally present in water, which replicates the innate process of filtration found in nature. Two bio-sand water filtration systems, one for household level and one for community level has been piloted in Samtse Dzongkhag. These filters were installed in the communities for their feedback on ease of use and management of maintenance.
Vermi compost is the process of composting, using various worms usually red wigglers, white worms and other earthworms to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetables or food waste and bedding materials.
Organic farming methods, incorporation of “on farm” production of composts and vermi compost have been promoted in all Tarayana’s targeted villages. Six groups in Khengkhar, Monggar and two in Samtse have taken up the production of vermi compost to the enterprise level by packaging and selling it in the local markets.
Eco San Toilets are designed to save fresh water by making use of closed-loop system that converts human waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer. Tarayana launched a pilot project in the Lotokuchu village in Samtse in 2011 and the villages of Digala and Langdurbi in Zhemgang in 2012. This initiative has helped to improve the overall hygiene of the villages.
In rural areas, most households depend primarily on wood fuel for energy. They cook their meals on firewood, agricultural biomass and kerosene. Health risks associated with indoor air pollution have been cited as one of the ten major threats to health (global) and an acute danger to women and girls. Between the year 2013 and 2014, twenty household level biogas plants were installed Kinzingling and Ugyentse in Samtse Dzongkhag.
Although community members own cattle, they were not able to construct biogas due to lack of skills and fund. The project was initiated on a cost-sharing basis, where community members contributed labour while the materials were procured by the Foundation. These twenty plants benefit 150 family members in the two villages. Biogas contributes to improving both soil conditions and household sanitation. The slurry from the plant is used as fertilizer for their cultivation.
Micro Hydro Rural Electrification
Tarayana is in the process of piloting a Micro hydro power project to create access to clean energy and to increase the income of the people at Dali in Zhemgang through a community-managed sustainable programme and a participatory approach. Dali village remains off the national grid which is inaccessible during the monsoon season and can be reached after six hours trek from the nearest road. This initiative will provide lighting, reduce drudgery, prevent health hazards caused by smoke and enable the community to operate household appliance as well as small machinery such as maize grinder and oil speller for food security and income generation. The project will be completed in March 2016.
The newly designed stoves commonly known as “Energy Efficient Cooking Stove” have inherent attributes which can meet the needs of changing times such as high fuel wood efficiency, clean combustion, no indoor smokes and high neat retention capacity. All the eco-stoves are locally manufactured to create employment, provide skill development and promote local economy. These stoves are made from mud and some metallic parts which require less maintenance.
With the help of community stove technicians, trained by the Foundation with the support from Ministry of Economic Affairs, Department of Renewable Energy, we are able to implement more than 760 improved stoves in rural villages under Sarpang Dzongkhag.
Compressed Earth Block
Compressed Earth Block (CEB) is a building material made primarily from damp soil compressed at high pressure.CEB uses a mechanical press to form block out of appropriate mix organic soil and a small amount of cement. The blocks are strong, stable, water resistant and long lasting.
The CEB technology offers a cost effective, environmentally sound masonry system. The product has a wide application in construction for walling, roofing, arched openings, eco-stoves, pavement tiles, etc. The Self Help Group at Dechen-pelri community owns and operates the unit.