UNHCR to help build solar power oven for Bhutanese refugees in Nepal

Report
from Xinhua
Published on 04 Feb 2006
KATHMANDU, Feb 4, 2006 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) linked up with a Dutch agency to provide facilities for solar power to Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.
With funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the UN agency for refugees in partnership with Stichting Vluchteling, also a Dutch non-governmental organization, will help the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal to build solar ovens so they no longer have to burn scarce fire wood to cook their meals, according to a statement issued by the UNHCR here on Saturday.

"The Dutch agency will provide around 864,000 U.S. dollars to UNHCR for the project, the statement said, adding, "this will reduce deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions as well as the use of costly kerosene."

However, the length of the project and when will it begin has not been mentioned.

About month ago, the UNHCR began the distribution of coal briquettes saying its budget could not adjust with the increasing price of kerosene that had been distributed to the refugees since their settlement in Nepal.

Refugees have been staging in seven camps in eastern Nepal demanding redistribution of kerosene. More than 100,000 Bhutanese refugees have been living in Nepal for the last 15 years.

The Bhutanese refugees fled the country after the enforcement of a 1985 Citizenship Act for the people of Nepalese ethnicity.

The 15-round of bilateral talks between the Nepalese and Bhutanese government has failed to give any solution to the crisis.