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.