The project:Start Up Tech Sales in Kratie, Cambodia
Technologies used:Prime Square Fuelwood Biomass Cookstove, d.light S300 Solar lantern, Super Tunsai Water Filter
People in the isolated province of Kratie, Cambodia struggle to access clean drinking water and electricity for lighting. Most people use car batteries that need to be charged once a week at an additional cost, collect rain water or buy water in gallon containers that need to be refilled, and cook with traditional stoves that require fuel that is in short supply.
We worked with our local partner, the Cambodian Rural Development Team, to connect Super Tunsai water filters, d.light S300 solar lights and Prime Square Fuelwood Cookstoves with people in Kratie Province. They will now be able to access clean drinking water, cleaner cooking with less smoke and access to clean and safe lighting at night. These technologies will also help to conserve precious forest resources because water does not need to be boiled, and the cookstoves use a fraction of the fuel of tradtional cookstoves. This will protect the biodiversity of the region.
The technologies were distributed to 115 rural self-help groups in communities throughout Kratie province. The Cambodian Rural Development Team team then joined the monthly meeting with staff of the self-help groups. During the meetings, the CRDT team made a pitch or mini tech fair to the members and they then placed an order.
With the competition from other organisations, especially for the biomass cookstove, the Cambodian Rural Development Team also pitched these technologies to communities outside the self-help groups. The repayments were then facilitated through Mekong Credit Association established by the Cambodian Rural Development Team who provided loans for the community.
The Cambodian Rural Development Team faced several challenges during this project. The price of the technologies was still too high for the community in Kratie, especially during planting time. There was an additional challenge when another NGO distributed the same stove at a subsidised price.
The partner also experienced staff turnover, which meant that new staff needed to be trained to use the technology and many of them had difficulty explaining the benefits to the community. Some items were broken during the distribution process and it took some time to get replacements since the partner needed to verify the problem before issuing a replacement.