At the 10th Energy Globe Awards ceremony organized under the aegis of the European Union, which will be held on 13 April 2009 in Prague, GERES (Groupe Energie Renouvelable, Environnement et Solidarités) will receive a National Energy Globe Award for the quality of its climate change solidarity programme in Afghanistan.
Already a winner in 2006, 2007 and 2008 for its work in Cambodia, GERES is to be honoured this year for an energy efficiency project in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been striving to overcome an uncertain economic situation since the withdrawal of the Soviet army in 1989 and the end of the civil war in 1996. Under the circumstances, communities clearly suffer from energy insecurity: only 4% of households have access to electricity and the vast majority of the population have very little heating.
Since 2002, GERES has been involved in the reconstruction of Afghanistan through projects designed to introduce energy-efficient technology into public buildings. It passes on skills to help save energy and enhance the amenity of buildings. Launched in connection with the tripartite “Franco-German-Afghan” co-operation agreement, this project has already resulted in the renovation or construction of more than 250 buildings, significantly improving local living conditions. In parallel, 1000 professionals in the building sector have received training in respect of the introduction of these new techniques and the use of new materials.
Building on its success, the programme has extended its appropriate energy-efficient methods to homes. Passive solar technology offers very appreciable energy savings to individual householders: improving health conditions and comfort while limiting harmful smoke emissions. In addition, these techniques help to conserve the environment and combat deforestation by reducing the use of wood. Implemented experimentally since 2003, the project has succeeded in equipping more than 170 dwellings. It is now ready to scale up.
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