I recently volunteered in Tanzania and whilst there, I exposed to the method used by locals to prepare meals.
In developing countries, the traditional method of cooking is on a three stone cooking fire. It is the cheapest stove to produce, but this cooking method also has many problems:
- Smoke is vented into the home, instead of outdoors, causing health problems. According to the World Health Organisation, "Every year, indoor air pollution is responsible for the death of 1.6 million people."
- Fuel is wasted, as heat is allowed to escape into the open air. This requires more labour on the part of the user to gather fuel and may result in increased deforestation if wood is used for fuel.
- Only one cooking pot can be used at a time.
- The use of an open fire creates a risk of burns and scalds. Especially when the stove is used indoors, cramped conditions make adults and particularly children susceptible to falling or stepping into the fire and receiving burns.
I am raising money through a charity called Hearts For Africa, to help fund the provision of Smokeless Stoves to these communities. Not only will these stoves reduce the cost of cooking in these impoverished communities, but more importantly they will go a long way in reducing the eye and respiratory problems, and other health problems, assosicated with the traditional stoves. This in turn will lead to reduced deforestation and increased crop production.
This is a self sustaining project, as once the smokeless stoves are established in a village, they will remain. Organic growth is encouraged and it is hoped that the stoves will spread from one village to the next.
Donations are tax deductible in the US and Australia.
At least 95% (usually 97%) of the donation goes to the project as the administration is all done by volunteers based in Brisbane (Aus) and Billings, Montana (US).