ENERGY EXCHANGE STOVE PROGRAM
In June 2020, we started working on a pilot project to develop more efficient cook stoves for rural communities Nepal. We are working with community members in the villages of Shikhar Ambote and Kushadevi, which are located in the hilly Kavreplanchok District of Central Nepal.
A third of the population lives in the hilly and mountainous regions of Nepal that are at least four hours away from the nearest year-round road. As a result, many of these geographically remote communities do not have access to reliable sources of electricity or natural gas as an energy source. The majority of the population depends on biomass fuel, such as wood, to meet their daily cooking and heating needs.
The traditional Nepalese cook stove, or chulo, is a simple mud structure. Fuel is inserted horizontally and the flame rises through a hole in the top over which food is cooked. These stoves lead to detrimental chronic health problems related to smoke inhalation, which disproportionately affects women and girls.
Traditional cooking and wood gathering practices are also having severe environmental consequences as a result of deforestation and incomplete carbon combustion. The high demand for wood is leading to forest degradation, loss of biodiversity, increased risk of landslides, and low land flooding due to soil erosion.
Our goal is to work closely with community members to design culturally appropriate and affordable cook stoves that are more efficient than those traditionally in use. This will reduce the amount of wood needed for fuel and mitigate the severe health hazards associated with prolonged exposure to smoke inhalation.