In Laos, at present, we are implementing the Improved Cookstoves project supported by EnDev. Actually, we started this Improved Cookstoves initiative in Laos in 2012 when we first started working with SWITCH-Asia. Then in 2016, EnDev (Energising Development) started supporting the Improved Cookstoves project in Laos. The first phase of EnDev’s support ended in 2018. In 2019, EnDev again approved a bridge phase of 6 months, starting from January 2019 to continue activities being carried out under EnDev’s support. In the second part of 2019 a full phase of the Endev project was approved and a contract was signed in October for 21 months full phase of the ICS (Improved Cookstoves) project. This project will end in 2021. Our target during the initial 6 months of the bridge phase was 4.950 (improved cookstoves) and we were able to support the installation of 4.994 improved cookstoves. We are disseminating 3 different designs of stoves. Those stoves have gone through different test procedures and then they have been tested in lab. The lab that we have supported to establish in the premise of the Renewable Energy and New Materials Testing Institute which is under the umbrella of the Ministry of Science and Technology. So we do regular checking and testing of our stoves in that laboratory. The stoves that we are using have gone through all these quality parameters so that they comply with those parameters. The target for this long-term phase EnDev 3 is 35.000 improved cookstoves to be supported. In the initial 6 months, we have been able to support something like 6.500 stoves and we expect, with new productions centers being established in the northern part of the country, we will be able to meet this target. What we have to do is to support producers to produce, distributors to distribute stoves in areas where they are not that penetrated, and we also work with local retailers We build and we make them aware of the importance of having a quality stove to sell. And then we also work with the users. Basically to make sure that the stove that they have purchased is used. We are happy with the achievements until date. In the coming months we have to install 2.000 stoves a month. At the moment we are working with 15 producers. There will be additional 6 producers producing improved cookstoves. So this means working with 20 plus producers and we will be able to support the installation of 2.000 stoves in a month. One of the challenges is the trade of between the cost of production and the retail price because the affordability of people in rural areas is still a concern and also profitability of the business is also very important. We are trying to link producers, distributors, retailers and users so that the market grows without any problem on the profitability and also for the users in terms of affordability. So this is what we are doing. We expect the EnDev project to continue even after the end of 2021.

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