Knowledge Exchange and Exposure Visit Programme

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The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is Lead Partner for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Brick Production Initiative and Lead Implementer of the Department for International Development (DFID) Nepal Clean Brick Initiative. The overall objective is to improve local and regional air quality standards, help ensure economic benefits for communities, and help reduce adverse impacts on health by improving regional and international coordination and information sharing. 

ICIMOD is working in the region on the Policy and Advocacy Network—regional policy and capacity building activities. The goal is to provide decision makers, national governments and sub-national entities with tools, information, and programmatic support to develop comprehensive policy frameworks to improve brick kiln conditions and energy efficient operations. 

In South Asia, bricks are mostly hand-molded and then baked in fixed chimney Bull's trench kilns (FCBTKs). Lately, mechanized brick making plants and kiln varieties such as the tunnel kiln, the Hoffman kiln, the modified FCBTK, the zigzag, and the vertical shaft brick kiln technology (VSBK) have also been introduced. Earlier attempts to introduce mechanized brick making and brick baking have not met success owing to a mix of techno-operational and adaptability/acceptability problems. 

Most FCBTK brick kilns emit thick black smoke containing several air pollutants (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, black carbon, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides) and fine particulate matter, which present serious health hazards (human illnesses, animal and plant life destruction) to communities living around them. 

After the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, an engineered design manual for zigzag brick firing was introduced in the country. The manual became popular among brick kiln owners as using this new technique improved brick quality and reduced coal consumption considerably. It also lowered emissions.

Many entrepreneurs are eager to learn about this design. In this context, ICIMOD is facilitating a visit of brick entrepreneurs from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh to Nepal to learn about the zigzag firing technique and visit kilns where this technique is employed.

The training will discuss the following topics: 

  • Modifications to exiting BTKs to convert to zigzag kilns 
  • Field-level training on brick kilns 
  • Knowledge exchange: Interactions between the Federation of Nepal Brick Industries (FNBI), the All India Brick Production Federation (AIBTMF), the All Pakistan Brick Kiln Owners Association (APBKOA), and the Bangladesh Brick Manufacturing Owners Association (BBMOA)