Respiratory disease is a major cause of death in Nepal and burns are common, particularly among the smaller children. Cooking was traditionally done on open fires in a hole in the kitchen floor.
The new stoves provide a source of heat and a place to cook but the smoke is removed from the house via the chimney. A smokeless stove changes a whole family’s life giving them a smoke and fire free living area.
Over the last five years we started to introduce the scheme to other communities and have trained builders in 3 other villages. Progress has been slow because we are dependent on finding people locally to administer the process of providing materials etc and the distances between villages can prove difficult to manage. We have been assisted in this work by visiting American Peace Corps volunteers, but as they only remain in their allocated village for one or two years, development of the scheme can be interrupted.
There are still some of the 800 houses in Aruchour without stoves, but this is mainly due to a reluctance on the part of the householders themselves. But we are continuing to build and also to maintain those stoves provided some years ago. Aruchour itself has been designated a ‘Smoke Free Village’ by the local District Office as a result of the work of TPN. This is a major achievement of which we, and the committee in Aruchour, feel really proud.