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EMAS method takes off in WECF Empowerment & Local Action projects in Central Asia

EMAS empoweres people in rural areas by low-cost and sustainable technologies on household level

22.12.2008 |Fedde Jorritsma

Last summer two WECF staff members (Stefan Deegener and Fedde Jorritsma) participated in the intensive EMAS course  in Bolivia. EMAS empoweres people in rural areas by low-cost and sustainable technologies on household level.

The German director of EMAS Mr. Wolffgang Eloy Buchner has more then 20 years experience on low-cost solutions for water supply, solar water heating, water storage and sanitation. His motto is “Learning by Doing”. All technologies are made from simple materials which can be found in local markets. Stefan and Fedde constructed during 5 weeks pumps, solar collectors, hot water tanks, wells, (underground) cisterns and latrines and received the theoretical background. These technologies are fitting well in the framework of the ELA project “Empowerment and Local action”. WECF made last month a start in spreading this valuable information into Central Asia.

Hand pumps in Naurazum Game Reserve (Kostanai Oblast, Kazakhstan)

20 participants form NGO's in North Kazakhstan made demonstration pump at water and sanitation workshop in Naurazum – September 2008

Karamendi situated in the expansive steppes close to the Naurazum Game Reserve. Only 30% of the rural population in the Oblast North Kazakhstan have access to adequate drinking water and 28% in the Oblast Kostanai[1]. Many people do not have access because the pump in their well is broken. Twenty representatives of different NGO's arrived from these regions and participated in the workshop for making EMAS hand pumps in September 2008 (with financial support by the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs). After an instruction-movie and some theoretical background everybody made a pump by him-/herself. The pump can replace the old broken pump in wells so that people don't have to walk that far any more for water. The costs for such a solution are 3 Euro /meter + 4 Euro additional materials. Unfortunately there was too little time to finish the well drilling.

Solar collectors in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz men made mini solar collector for demonstration during the Energy training in Bishkek – November 2008

Households in the rural areas of Central Asia spend around 30 to 50% of their income on energy (heating, cooking etc.). During an Energy training in Bishkek November 2008  financially supported by the German federal ministry of environment nature protection and nuclear safety and GTZ, 32 representatives of ecological organizations from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan learned about the EMAS low-cost solar collectors. One variant was made for 40 Euro with a capacity of 50 liters. The temperature reached over the 60 degrees on a sunny day in mid November. Participants made a demonstration model from tubes and beer bottles to show it in their regions. Unfortunately, this variant will probably not work in the coldest winter months. Therefore a second variant was presented with an isolated tank and heat exchanger. This technology has a good change to work even in the winter and can reduce cost for heating in the rural areas of Central Asia considerable. 

The construction of these technologies and many others can be seen in the video-links below:

Solar collector

Hot water tank

Hand pump

Small water tank and wash basin

Well drilling

Well drilling equipment

Underground cistern

Surface cistern

Rainwater harvesting


Contact Stefan Deegener: stefan.deegener (at) or Fedde Jorritsma: fedde.jorritsma (at)

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