VSBK Technology Transfer to Afghanistan
In 2006 the VSBK Technology Transfer to Afghanistan was launched. Skat has implemented first knowledge sharing and capacity building activities which have been organised by the ongoing VSBK Programmes in Nepal and India.
In April 2004 an international VSBK conference was held in Kathmandu. A participating delegation from Afghanistan expressed thereafter a strong interest to introduce the VSBK technology in their country. Skat conducted a feasibility study in November/ December 2005, supported by SDC. This was based on the need for cleaner brick production and a potential for overall improvement of the brick manufacturing sector. In addition, the persistence and willingness of private entrepreneurs to contribute led to an in-depth assessment.
The study revealed a booming Afghan construction sector due to large numbers of public and private post-war reconstruction initiatives resulted in a significant increase in demand for bricks and therefore in a growing brick making industry. A detailed assessment of the current brick production sector with regard to technological, environmental, economic, social, and institutional aspects confirmed a high need for improvement. The existing brick making technologies create heavy environmental pollution, such as serious air pollution. Ongoing inefficient firing methods include the burning of tyres and scarcely available wood.
Furthermore, the study shows that there is high potential for change towards the environment and social friendly VSBK technology. The VSBK technology saves energy between 40 to 50%, reduces emissions by 80 to 90 %, improves drastically working conditions, and is economically viable.
As a technology shift does not only concern the firing method but also the entire production system, a technology transfer is only effective and sustainable if a holistic approach is applied. A holistic approach considers besides the technology and environment also economic, institutional, and social aspects. Experiences in India and Nepal have shown that a pilot project approach is most appropriate to adapt and optimize the technology to the local context and to anchor know-how and expertise within the existing institutional set up.
In 2006 the VSBK Technology Transfer to Afghanistan was launched. This includes the active involvement of key stakeholders such as pilot entrepreneurs, support service providers, government departments, etc. Skat has implemented first knowledge sharing and capacity building activities which have been organised by the ongoing VSBK Programmes in Nepal and India. Stakeholders receive and exchange tangible information about the VSBK technology for informed decision making as well as to be enabled to arrange for the required pilot project preparations.