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Household Cooking Energy Plan

Household Cooking Energy Plan




1 January, 2013 to 31 March, 2014


Sierra Leone


West Africa


This type of activity was part of the RECP start-up phase and is now being offered under the Service Line SEADS.

Fuelwood and charcoal account for almost all of Sierra Leone’s rural and urban household energy for cooking and heating. They comprise around 85% of all energy used in the country, including the commercial and service sectors as well as household enterprise activities. High urbanisation rates have resulted in an increased demand for charcoal which, in combination with the use of inefficient conversion technologies, causes high pressure on forest resources. Wood and charcoal production are now oneof the main rural industries in the country. Additionally, the in-door air pollution caused by this inefficient use of charcoal or fuelwood leads to respiratory diseases, mainly amongst women and children.

In 2011 the Sierra Leone Ministry of Energy requested the EUEI PDF, under the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP), to support:

  • the Sierra Leone Ministry of Energy with the preparatory phase of a household cooking energy plan
  • the development of a vision for the policy framework, following a consultative approach involving key stakeholders and
  • the development of a roadmap setting out policies and potential interventions to improve sustainability in the sector, addressing both the supply and demand sides

The objective of the assignment was to support the initial stages in the development of a household cooking energy plan for Sierra Leone, including developing a vision agreed with the stakeholders.

The project began with multi-stakeholder meetings in order to raise awareness on issues related to biomass energy with the purpose of stimulating policy dialogue and policy change in the household sector. Multiple stakeholders from various backgrounds were engaged at regional meetings to stimulate discussions and generate recommendations on improving the biomass energy business, taking into account livelihood issues, and environmental sustainability.

The project analysed the entire value chain for commercial biomass, interviewing hundreds of participants, local and central government officials, Parliamentarians, development partners, and NGOs/CBOs. A thorough profile of the value chain and stakeholders in each segment was developed and all relevant national policies were reviewed. A roadmap was developed that fits with those priorities, particularly local government, decentralization, forestry and environmental policies. The roadmap, endorsed by national stakeholders, addresses sustainability of fuel wood supplies, improved conversion and efficiency in end-use.

The immediate result of this project was to stimulate discussion on and raise awareness about the major role biomass plays in Sierra Leone’s energy provision. Specifically, the project resulted in the drafting of a roadmap, setting out ways to simultaneously promote improved efficiency in wood fuel production, including improved forest resource management, afforestation and reforestation, and biomass fuel utilisation. The project outputs set out a framework for improving governance on the forest supply side, and improved governance along the entire supply chain.

The roadmap for the national biomass sector developed as part of this project, proposes a number of actions to be taken, among them are the following priority actions:

  • formation of a National Cooking Energy Stakeholder Group(CESG ) – headed up by the Ministry of Energy, with participation from all key government, development partner, NGO/ CBO and private sector groups
  • sustainable production – setting up four pilot sustainable wood fuel supply enterprises that involve local producers, local government, the Forest Division and landowners
  • supporting development of alternative energy sources, including LPG, biomass briquettes and other biomass fuel sources and
  • efficiency – the project recommends a major national household energy efficiency program that focuses on household cooking.

In the medium to long-term, the effects suggest that national policies for local government, forestry and environment will be modified in order to incorporate household biomass energy supply and demand.

The work of EUEI PDF has been used in the later developed National Renewable Energy Action Plan and the SE4ALL Country Action Agenda includes several recommendations from this project.


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