Pilot is complete
In order to field-test our approach of stove deployment and data collection, we have embarked on a pilot phase with a small number of households (about 500) and for a period of about 12 months. The experience and data gathered during this pilot phase will be used to conduct the first field phase with 5000 households.
The Pilot Phase of Project Surya was launched on March 25th, 2009, in the village of Khairatpur. This village has close to 300 households and most of the inhabitants live below the poverty line. The village, located at the coordinates 26.47N; 81.65E, is in the Sultanpur District of the Uttar Pradesh State. (Click here for a Google map of the launch site)
This district is located in the Indo Gangetic Plains (IGP) which has a total population exceeding 600 million and is the major source of soot and other pollutants for S. Asia and the Himalayan region. TERI was the lead institution for the launch. TERI has a regional office and facilities in the Sultanpur district to facilitate Surya. Mr. Abhishek Kar of TERI is the full-time project person at the project site.
For the launch, eight improved biomass cookstoves (see photo, above left) were distributed to the villagers. The distribution was preceded by a meeting of village leaders and inhabitants (see photo, right). Along with the cook stoves, solar lamps were distributed (see photo, below) because the kerosene lamps used by the villagers were another source of black carbon indoors. Thus, with this small step, Surya is no more a concept but a reality.
The total cost of the Pilot Phase is $615,000, for which funding is currently being sought. The soft launch was accomplished through private donations from Surya supporters (E. Frieman, V. Ramanathan, D. Zaelke, Aldersen foundation).
Phase 1 (will last two years)
Phase 1 will cost $8 million, and will launch in 8,000 households in two regions whose populations and area will be large enough to measure Project Surya’s impact on climate and health.