District Skardu (Gilgit-Baltistan) is one of the most fragile areas due to its inaccessibility, mountain specificities, geophysical and climatic conditions. The communities and their resources have increasingly become vulnerable to the impact of speedily growing climate changes. In the area which characterized by scarcity of natural resources particularly forest, water and cultivable land communities fully depend on the ecosystems' resources due to poverty, lack of access to alternate energy sources, income generation opportunities and increasing population. Environmental deterioration has been further aggravated by climate change resulting into exacerbated poverty with extremely negative impacts on women and children.
To halt the pace of environmental degradation due to climate change, GRACE Association Pakistan in partnerships with ONE-UN Joint Program on Environment's Grassroots Initiative Program (GRIP) and introduced Kore Technology for making fuel efficient stoves. Kore is a soft stone commonly available in many mountain villages of Skardu with characteristics of absorbing and giving heat for long time. GRACE is endeavoring to introduce these kinds of appropriate technologies, alternate energy sources, energy efficient and water conservation technologies.
A Kore stoves production centre was set up and an awareness program launched for village communities multimedia campaign, involving a combination of discussions, radio broadcasts and leaflet distribution, has been educating the communities on the benefits of owning Kore stove. The campaign also covers topics related to the environment and conservation, preservation and cultivation of medicinal herbs. 10 Kore Fuel Efficient stoves with Water Heating Tanks have been installed for the most deserving families for demonstration in the project village in Skardu. The user families now are repeatedly reporting that it was very beneficial and reduced their fuel wood consumptions up to 50% in winter. They further report that they cannot use during July and August due to increased temperature. In the rest 10 months the Kore stove is a bless for them.
7The stoves produced in the centre are cost for $125. Its life is about 25-30 years. One of the characteristics of Kore stove is the more we use and heat it up the more it becomes rigid and hard. The Kore stoves are given to deserving families in free with a condition of bearing the installation cost and permanent use as contribution for demonstration and on experimental basis as per project provision to set a trend. Later on some people from other villages produced more stoves on their own expenses from the locally trained Kore Stove Producers. This trend is gradually now promoting. However a small Kore Stove Manufacturing Unit is required to produce and supply the stoves on reasonable prices. The only hindrance in this regard is stove cutting machines which is not possible to purchase and set up a plant by the local communities. Local communities demanding for more stoves but they can't afford the stove excavation and cutting expenses.
GRACE endeavours to empower and improve the quality of life of the marginalized and vulnerable communities in the least developed parts of Pakistan through welfare, participatory research and development, capacity building, promotion of best practices and partnership building, advocacy, and by launching sustainable and replicable innovative projects.