News & Events in New Zealand & Nepal.

Making a Difference One Stove at a Time

Making a dif­fer­ence one stove at a time is an activ­ity pack that informs stu­dents about the smoke­less stove project.

The fol­low­ing activ­i­ties have been designed to help teach­ers engage their stu­dents with this project. Included are a number of helpful web­sites, books and YouTube clips to inves­ti­gate and under­stand these issues further. Empower your stu­dents to make a dif­fer­ence by cre­at­ing a class action plan to fundraise for this worth­while cause.

The premise for this project is that climate change is a big concern for Nepal, as it is threat­en­ing food secu­rity, human habi­tats, water resources and tourism. Climate change is seen to be making the monsoon rains in Nepal more unpre­dictable each year with cat­a­strophic effects, such as land­slides, flood­ing and water borne epi­demics. Remote moun­tain vil­lages are vul­ner­a­ble to these events as they are depen­dent on agri­cul­ture and forest prod­ucts to survive and are located on steep moun­tain­ous slopes.

Food is tra­di­tion­ally cooked on an open fire inside the one room home. It is also the main heat source in the cooler months of the year. A lot of the smoke and carbon monox­ide fumes are trapped inside the one room house causing sig­nif­i­cant ear, eye, burns and res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems for fam­i­lies and is con­sid­ered the main cause of infant injury and fatalities.

To keep the home fires burning, it is gen­er­ally the girls’ respon­si­bil­ity to spend many hours col­lect­ing fire­wood. This means they are often absent from school. They don’t have the same edu­ca­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties as the boys. It is no easy feat to collect this wood and it is easy for serious injuries to occur while doing this task. The moun­tains where they live are very steep. Years and years of col­lect­ing fire­wood from the local sur­round­ings have meant girls have to travel further and further away to collect this resource.

They have part­nered with other Nepalese groups and the com­mu­nity to create the ‘Smoke­less stoves project’. This one piece of inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­ogy has the incred­i­ble ability to reduce defor­esta­tion and health related impacts. Girls have more time to attend school. These stoves are 60% more effi­cient than an open ‘cook’ fire. Because less fire­wood is required, girls spend less time col­lect­ing fire­wood and more time attend­ing school.

Indoor smoke and fumes are sig­nif­i­cantly reduced by the clean burning system. Any smoke/harmful fumes escape via the chimney. The health-related impacts such as res­pi­ra­tory ill­nesses, heart disease, eye and ear infec­tions, infant injuries and fatal­i­ties sig­nif­i­cantly decrease.