Simple stoves transforming lives in rural Nepal!
When we first piloted a small stove installation project back in 2015, we were excited by its potential to generate sustainable long-term benefits. Currently the Nepal Government is supporting the installation by providing a 30% subsidy for each stove installed. Read our story about how your donations have helped the Stove project and the families in rural Nepal.
The Stove Project
In many areas of rural Nepal families rely on open fires or mud stoves to cook. These cause the homes to fill with smoke and can seriously contribute to health problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease, and lung cancer. So, when the villagers of Nele Village approached Himalayan Initiatives to fund the installation of stoves with chimneys into local homes, we were keen to explore the potential of such a project.
We ran an initial pilot of the project in January 2015 where we installed 25 stoves in local family homes in Nele village, Lower Solukhumbu. The stoves are made in Kathmandu rather than imported, meaning that our funds are also supporting employment and enterprise in Nepal. Initial follow-up consultations with these families allowed us to evaluate the suitability of the stoves and identify how best to deliver the project. Since then a further 67 households in Nele received stoves in April 2015, and 103 stoves were installed in the nearby village of Jhareni in April 2016.
As with any of our projects, the input of the local communities is never considered an optional extra, rather it is deemed a vital and essential component of the project. The stove project in Nepal was no exception. After the installation of the initial stoves in Nele it was important for us to understand exactly how the stoves were making an impact. Were the villagers happy with the stoves? Had they experienced any problems? What noticeable outcomes had the stoves resulted in?
The villagers told us of how their homes no longer filled with smoke; how their eyes felt better, no-longer stinging from the heavy smoke; that their chests felt better; and that the efficiency of the stoves meant they were burning up to 60% less wood (saving them time and money, and also easing pressure on local forests). The benefits encompassed health, environmental and financial spheres. We were delighted and it was clear to us that such a project warranted further development.
So what’s next?
Having seen such positive outcomes we are aiming to roll out the stove project to additional areas that have expressed an interest. In the coming months it is our hope to donate a further 187 stoves to the areas surrounding Nele Village, 46 stoves to another of our project villages Simigaon, which suffered tremendously during the earthquakes of 2015, and 36 stoves to a village called Mammerku.
What can you do?
Currently the Nepal Government is supporting the installation by providing a 30% subsidy for each stove installed. As a result the materials, transportation and installation of each stove costs Himalayan Initiatives just £50, meaning your donations are going even further! To support our efforts you can visit our donation page.
Alternatively, we are running two charity treks this October, which offer opportunities to visit villages participating in the stove project in Nepal. Why not get in touch and find out more about signing up? We'd love to hear from you!