by Paul Mushamba
Journal section: General Article
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ProBEC is a regional programme aimed at improving the quality of life for poor rural and urban people by enabling them to meet their energy needs in a socially and environmentally sustainable manner. It aims to do this by improving the links between governments and development organisations in implementing integrated biomass energy conservation (BEC) programmes.
ProBEC is a joint programme between SADC, the European Commission (EC) and the German Government. The first phase (1998-2001) ProBEC activities are restricted to six SADC countries: Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe (see BP43 page 20).
One of the major outputs of ProBEC is the implementation of BEC demonstration projects, which are intended to show the impacts that can be achieved when BEC measures are integrated into ongoing rural development activities. The idea is to start with a limited geographical region where measurable impacts can be made within a short space of time. In the even of a successful demonstration project, replication to other regions of the country is envisaged. In Zimbabwe, preparations for implementing the BEC demonstration project in Hurungwe district are at an advanced stage. This article describes the logical steps, and a few experiences gained with the integrated approach in Zimbabwe.
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