Brick sector partnership enhances state of knowledge on science, technology, and policy in Nepal and South Asia

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ICIMOD and the Federation of Nepal Brick Industries (FNBI) organized a concluding event to share the outcomes of the Adoption of Cleaner Brick Production project (2018–2019), funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by ICIMOD. The project’s interventions have made the Nepal brick industry more energy efficient and environment and worker friendly, enhanced knowledge and adoption of improved technologies, influenced brick sector policies, and worked to improve the social and working conditions in brick kilns.

The Adoption of Cleaner Brick Production project’s concluding event saw participation from representatives of FNBI district associations. (Photo:ICIMOD)

The project conducted interactive trainings and workshops, solicited feedback from the FNBI’s member associations for increased ownership, and mobilized local brick experts and entrepreneurs along with environmental and social engineers and technology experts. Brick kiln modernization offers a large potential for energy savings; reduces black carbon and CO2 emissions; saves agricultural land from degradation; increases the profitability of brick enterprises; improves the working conditions and health of workers; and provides better-quality building material to consumers. The project helped establish seven showcase kilns in four provinces where brick industries are concentrated. The demonstration and adoption of initial gas firing and experimentation of pellets as an alternative to coal have also been successful. 

Speaking at the project’s concluding event, Mahendra Bahadur Chitrakar, Chairperson, FNBI, stressed that brick industries in Nepal should expeditiously adopt cleaner technology. He urged all brick entrepreneurs to unite at the district and provincial levels for the transformation of brick kilns and underlined the need for science-based policy advocacy. Bidya Banmali Pradhan, Programme Coordinator – Brick Kiln Initiative, ICIMOD, also highlighted the value of technology adoption for the efficient operation of kilns, which can lead to cascading positive impacts, including alleviation of social issues. 

Banmali Pradhan, Programme Coordinator – Brick Kiln Initiative, ICIMOD, spoke about the need for adoption of better technologies in brick kilns. (Photo: ICIMOD)