Eritrea Technical Exchange
Annual Report 2003


This is an annual report for the Eritrea Technical Exchange Project of the International Collaborative for Science, Education and the Environment (ETEP/ICSEE)



In 2003, ETEP expanded its in-kind and volunteer contributions to projects in Eritrea while reducing and focusing its support of the Eritrean Masters training students to those who are most likely to make near-term contributions to Eritrea's development.

Stove projects in Eritrea obtained more than $80K in new support due in large part to technical support provided by ETEP. About $35K in support came from carbon credits which were verified by volunteer ETEP staff (see Another $48K for the Eritrea Dissemination of Improved Stoves program was received as a result of winning the Ashden award in the Food Security category. Documentation of project results and performance by ETEP is likely to have substantially aided in winning this award.

ETEP is also working with the Eritrean Water Resources Department to pilot test ultraviolet water disinfection technology for rural water supply applications in Eritrea. Dr. Brian Hill and Dr. Robert Van Buskirk traveled to Eritrea in January 2003 to introduce the technology and help instigate organization of pilot projects for practical feasibility testing.

ETEP also recruited two graduate students from the Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP) to write policy reports for Eritrean stove and water projects. One paper developed quantitative peformance measures for rural water projects, while the other paper provided a comparative analysis of Eritrean, Ethiopian, Chinese, and Indian improved stove programs.

In addition, ETEP began arrangements to expand its technical assistance and cooperation to Ghana. Initial drafts of a water supply project research proposal were written and an initial technical cooperation visit was organized for January 2004.

Masters Training

In summer 1999 an initial effort was made to develop a climate and resources masters training program in cooperation with San Jose State University (SJSU) Meteorology Department. This effort consisted of requesting applications from six candidates to the SJSU Met program. These applications where slowly but surely processed and in Fall of 2000 the first candidate, Mengsteab Habtegiorgis arrived. In the Fall of 2001 another four candidates arrived making a team of five climate and resources masters trainees. The additional four candidates are Bereket Lebassi, Tesfom Gebregiorgis, Tesfamichael Berhane, and Yonas Samuel.

In 2003, Mengsteab H. graduated from SJSU and went to continue his education with studies for a Ph.D. in Maryland. Tesfamichael B. obtained an assistantship performing meteorological simulations with MM5 for air quality studies at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Bereket L. shifted from a research assistantship studying the Monterey sea breeze to ETE program support, and began simulations of wind energy resources in Southeastern Eritrea. The program over the course of the year clarified its understanding with the students that they were expected to return to Eritrea after their Masters training. Tesfom G. clarified his intention not be be bound to return to Eritrea after his studies, and stopped receiving support from the program. Yonas S. has been intermittently supported by the program.

The presence of the students at SJSU has been noted in a SJSU science college publication:

UV Waterworks

In January 2003, ETE brought two UV water disinfection units, demonstrated the technology, and organized the implementation of two pilot projects in collaboration with the Department of Energy, the Department of Water Resources, the Ministry of Health, and the Central Zone Administration. The pilot projects are taking about three times as long as originally planned, but appear to be moving ahead with care and determination. The pilot projects are planned for the villages of Hayelo and Tsalam (SerejeQa). The Eritrean government provided $50K per village for the civil works and completed the designs and bidding by October 2003. As of December 2003, the Tsalam project was 50% - 75% completed, while the Hayelo project was about 25% completed. The Eritrean government is interested in increasing the disinfection capacity of the projects. There is some discussion of changing one of the pilot project locations from Tsalam (which may not need disinfection), to the village of Daro which currently has an untreated surface water supply available. In 2004, the expectation is that pilot project installation will be completed, and evaluation of the projects will begin. In addition, efforts will be made to find a distributor for UV Waterworks equipment to meet the demand from the Eritrean government to install a greater disinfection capacity at the pilot projects.

To assist with the monitoring and evaluation phase of the UV disinfection pilot projects, ETEP recruited a Masters student from the Goldman School of Public Policy to write a report on project evaluation methods for rural water projects in Eritrea. The report is available at:

Stoves and Carbon Credits

In 2003, ETEP assisted the Eritrean Department of Energy in formulating the monitoring and verification protocols for its improved stove projects. And in March 2003, ETEP completed the verification study and report for stove project carbon credits (See:

ETEP commissioned a volunteer study from a Masters student of the Goldman School of Public Policy that provided a comparative analysis of stove programs in Eritrea, Ethiopia, China and India. The study provided a series of recommendations for helping consolidate and expand the improved stove dissemination program. This report is available at:

The Eritrean Dissemination of Improved Stoves Program (EDISP) also received a $48K Ashden award in the food security category. Technical documentation and studies provided by ETEP, and ETEP's $75K of project expansion support in the year 2000, helped make this possible. The Ashden award combined with the carbon credits should help facilitate the installation of over 3000 more stoves in 2004 that what would have otherwise been possible. In 2003, approximately 5000 stoves were installed in the EDISP program, and this is slated to expand to above 10,000 stove installations per year in 2004. When EDISP installation rates surpass 20,000 to 40,000 stoves per year, then national availability, use, and adoption of improved cookstoves in Eritrea will be virtually assured.


We describe the finances of Eritrea Technical Exchange Project in the tables below. The project began the year with a negative balance of more than $8K, and received $20K in donations from the Craig Foundation and $10.5K from Robert Van Buskirk. These financial contributions were supplemented by in kind contributions of labor and travel expenses to the project from three technical support trips to Eritrea, and the fees from a CO2 verification study of $3,495. All of the available financial resources were spent supporting an average of 3 Eritrean government staff who were training for a Masters in Meteorology at San Jose State University. The average expense per Masters candidate was about $11K/year. This expense is relatively low because some of the program support was leveraged with some research assistant support for the students, and because the program has access to inexpensive housing for the students. By year end, the program deficit was reduced to $3K which is borrowed out of project reserves.

Table 1: Statement of Activities
CO2 Verificatio Fee3,495.00
Total Revenue:33,995.00
Meteorology Postgraduate Training:
Living Expenses6,647.27
Tuition and Fees16,835.80
Other Expenses445.37
Total Expenses:29,428.44


$10,000 - $20,000
The Craig Foundation
Robert Van Buskirk

Benefit/Cost Calculation

In this section we provide a rough accounting of the value of benefits provided by ETEP activities and estimate a rough benefit/cost ratio for the money invested in ETEP. Table 2 provides a rough valuation of the direct social benefits from ETEP projects. The technical reports written by the GSPP student are detailed and professionally done, and are worth at least $10K each. The CO2 credit evaluation was a necessary requirement for the EDISP program getting $30K in carbon credit revenues. The standard cost for training Masters students at SJSU is $18K/year. The ETE website continues to distribute Geez software with over 7000 raw downloads which we value at more than $2 each. Reasonable valuations for the UV Waterworks and wind energy technical support are at least $10K and $15K each. The sum of benefits therefor is likely to be more than $164K resulting in a greater than 5:1 benefit cost ratio for the $30K spent by the ETEP program in 2003.

Table 2: Program Benefits Calculation
ActivityEstimated Value
GSPP Stoves Report$10,000
GSPP Water Proj. Eval. Report$10,000
CO2 Credit Evaluation$30,000
EDISP Performance Documentation$20,000
Masters Training, 3 Student-years$54,000
UniGeez Distribution (7000 downloads/year)$15,000
UV Waterworks Pilot Project Tech Support$10,000
Wind Energy Resource Research$15,000
Total Benefit$164,000

End of Annual Report