IDA, GEF Support Clean Energy in Mali

29 October 2010: The International Development Association (IDA), a branch of the World Bank Group, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) are supporting Mali villagers, through the Household Energy and Universal Access Project (HEURA), to use efficient stoves to replace wood cutting, reduce emissions and indoor air pollution, and preserve forests.

The project has provided 66 women with funds to establish shrub nurseries, plant trees and grow vegetables to sell to residents of the capital. A portion of their earnings is used to offer small loans to members of the association who wish to operate small businesses, such as selling groundnuts or loaf cakes in the town's market. The project seeks to promote community-based forest management, with a view to reducing consumption pressure on forest resources, while encouraging fuel substitution and energy-saving initiatives. To ensure sustainable exploitation of forests, the project provides support to the production and sale of improved stoves that use less charcoal.

Another community has established a solar power network with a capacity of 120 watts, 192 batteries and 232 consumers, including residential homes, service businesses and farmers. The plant provides ten hours of electric supply every day and supplies the town's health and maternity centers. [World Bank Press Release]