Meeting of 300 villagers

Location: Ri VDC, co-ordinated by Hilly Region Development Committee (HRDC), based at Tawal

Date: November 2013 ongoing

Beneficiaries: up to 1,000 households in 9 villages in Ri VDC

Objective: To supply improved cooking stoves to households in Ri VDC

HRDC representatives visit CRT

Details: This project is one aspect of a range of strategies related to NAFA’s community development work with the HRDC. The HRDC was established by the Tawal community in 2000 to work co-operatively with other villages in the same government designated local area, to improve villagers’ health, education and economic status. In a NAFA survey of local needs in 2011, the HRDC identified deforestation as a major development priority for all 9 villages in the area. Deforestation is a result of almost exclusive use of wood for cooking and the use of traditional stoves (open fires under a metal stand) that are extremely inefficient and hazardous for family health.

Another NAFA social and health survey conducted in 2013 showed that Tawal villagers had to travel 12 to 14 hours per trip, 2 to three times a week to collect wood. Respiratory and eye problems associated with smoke from traditional stoves was rated as the most prominent health issue in households. The HRDC began to explore ‘improved cooking stoves’ suitable for low altitude villages as one strategy to reduce deforestation and improve family health. NAFA in partnership with the HRDC initiated the following processes to roll out this project, and to strengthen community decision making and project ownership:

Training of installers

Nov 2012: Multi-village meeting involving over 300 men and women to: provide information on improved cooking stoves, negotiate cost sharing and gain feedback on interest and feasibility.

Nov 2012: Discussion and information gathering with Centre for Rural Technology (CRT) involving NAFA members and HRDC representative in Kathmandu.

May 2013: 9 village representatives visit CRT in Kathmandu to gain first-hand knowledge about stoves and to choose stove best suited to their area.

May – Sept 2013: Register set up to collect money from villagers who want stoves.

Making the stoves

Oct 2013: 70 Stoves ordered; CRT chief trainer conducts Tawal based installation course for 18 installers (2 men from each of 9 villages) and information sessions for women who will be the main users of the stoves.

Nov 2013 – February 2014: Installation of 70 stoves across 6 villages; feedback from villagers sought.

March 2014: Order for 70 more stoves with modifications to wood inlet and chimney.

Outcomes:  70 stoves installed. Order placed for a further 70 stoves.