Jakarta, 14 August 2014 – A government program to promote safer cooking practices aims to prevent 165,000 premature deaths every year, says a new World Bank report.
The report, entitled Indonesia: Toward Universal Access to Clean Cooking, summarizes key findings and recommendations from Phase I of the Indonesia Clean Stove Initiative (CSI). Supported by the World Bank and undertaken by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, this multi-phase program hopes to introduce, in stages, affordable, biomass-fueled cookstoves to the 24.5 million families – or 40 percent of households across Indonesia – who still use traditional biomass, mostly firewood, for cooking.
Unaware of the harmful effects of household air pollution, users of firewood stoves expose themselves daily to toxic smoke, increasing risks for asthma, lung tuberculosis, and acute respiratory infections, particularly amongst children. Each year, Indonesia suffers an estimated 165,000 premature deaths because of household air pollution. Most of the deaths occur in poor households.
“Millions of families need clean cooking solutions, and many of them don’t even know that they face a problem,” said Rida Mulyana, Director General of New, Renewable Energy and Energy Conversion, at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.
“We have to raise public awareness about the importance of using better biomass-fueled cookstoves, and also make the stoves available and more affordable for the people so that families can buy them and improve their health,” Mulyana added.
This initiative will complement the Government’s efforts to replace kerosene with LPG as the country’s main household cooking fuel. However, many rural communities still use firewood, because the LPG conversion program has limited impact and firewood is more accessible and affordable.
Women and young children are those who suffer most from the lack of clean stoves, as they spend most of their days in their kitchens. According to the report,almost half of the 24 million families who still use firewood live on the densely populated island of Java.
“We support the government’s efforts to ensure that all Indonesians have access to clean cooking solutions by the year 2030. Better health for millions of Indonesians will reduce their health-care costs and their risks of falling into poverty,” said Rodrigo A. Chaves, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia.
The CSI survey shows that, in many rural and more remote areas, there are no existing markets for biomass cookstoves – and that market development is a key challenge. Most families make their own stoves from mud, cement or stone that are energy-inefficient and produce much toxic smoke. Stove producers also know little about cleaner or more efficient stove models.
The Clean Stove Initiative recommends using a Results-Based Financing (RBF) approach to promote clean stoves. This innovative incentive scheme is expected to develop a sustainable clean stove market. The scheme includes three key building blocks: defined clean stoves, results-based incentives, and a monitoring and verification (M&V) system.
In May 2014, two Grant Agreements were signed between the World Bank and the Government of Indonesia, and between the World Bank and PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia Tbk (BRI), in order to support the implementation of the Phase II of the Initiative until December 2015.
The $300,000 grant to Government will be utilized by the Directorate of Bioenergy to establish a system on how to define clean stoves as the foundation for market development, and to design and prepare a national clean biomass cookstoves program.
Meanwhile, the $190,000 grant to BRI will provide incentives to partially finance the purchase of clean biomass cookstoves by consumers/end users in the pilot area. The pilot program will focus on Central Java and Yogyakarta area.
Complementary technical assistance for the pilot program is also received from French Agency for Development (AFD), with a 250,000 euros grant through its implementing agency Groupe Energies Renouvelables, Environnement et Solidarités (GERES). “The Government will use the results from the pilot program to scale up the program across Indonesia,” said Rida Mulyana.
“We estimate that delivering 10 million clean biomass cookstoves by the year 2020 could transform the Indonesia biomass cookstoves market toward achieving universal access to clean cooking by 2030. This would significantly improve the health of rural population, particularly mothers and children across Indonesia,” said World Bank Senior Energy Economist Yabei Zhang.
The Initiative also launched the Indonesia Clean Cook Stove Alliance, a multi-stakeholder network for market players and supporters of clean cookstoves in Indonesia.