One of the significant programs of ECCA targeted towards vulnerable people in rural Nepal has been Improved Cooking Stove (ICS) distribution program in Dolakha, a major earthquake affected area. To help people attain better indoor environment and better health through use of more environment friendly technologies, ECCA distributed over 1500 Improved Cooking Stoves in different Dolakha villages in past few months with the support of Climate Change Center.
One of the recent ICS distribution included distribution to 200 households in Bhirkot village in Dolakha district. The beneficiaries belong to Majhi and Dalit communities, which are categorized under highly marginalized category in Nepal. According to the villagers, all the households of the community had been previously using traditional firewood stoves.
“Using traditional stoves was really hard for us. The smoke from traditional firewood stoves made it hard to breathe while we were inside”, says Rishma, one of the beneficiaries.
She added, “Also, the forest is off limits for wood collection, and we had to struggle for wood collection for hours, but with use of new stove (ICS) has turned out to be beneficial for us.”
The distributed improved cookstove has many advantages for community people and the environment, as it consumes less firewood and saves cooking time by 50%.
“The support has been a huge relief for Majhi and Dalit community. This support has enhanced their living standard to an extent”, shared ward president.
According to the villagers, there also have been frequent cases of people suffering from Tuberculosis, asthma etc. in the past. So, the use of ICS in a long run will also reduce indoor air pollution thereby improving the health of those who work in the kitchen, especially women and children.
Additionally, this initiation is also expected to bring awareness among villagers to use more environment friendly technologies.
-Upama Tamla (Rai), ECCA