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Traditional cooking stoves (chula) experience from rural nepal

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Information about Traditional cooking stoves (chula) experience from rural nepal
Health & Medicine

Published on November 4, 2013

Author: abanstola

Source: slideshare.net

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Public Health Perspective the first online public health newsletter of Nepal www.bmhall.yolasite.com/publications.php Vol. 1 Issue 10 Oct/Nov 2011 Editorial: Traditional Cooking Stoves (Chula): Experience from Rural Nepal Inside this issue: National News 2 National News Cont... 3 PHP Special 4 Global Health 5 Journal Watch 6 WHO Publications 7 Being Healthy 8 Featured Article 9 Public Health Important Day (Oct/Nov) 10 October: World Mental Health Day 13 October: World Sight Day 14 November: World Diabetes Day 16 November: World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day 20 November: World Day of The Government of Nepal (GoN) has taken a major step forward by initiating Improved Cook Stove (ICS) development and dissemination activities from early 1950s with the introduction of some Indian models such as Hyderabad and Magan stoves. (CRT/N) I was surprised to see that 61 years after the initiation of ICS, traditional cooking stoves (Chula) are still being used in rural areas like the Chidipani community. Chidipani is a beautiful Magar village, with uneven geography, 24 km east of Palpa, a city famous for Nepali „dhaka‟ (a typical Nepali cloth). Thus I was interested to know more about this traditional cooking stove/chula and the associated problems. I had seen these stoves and found that they are inefficient and environmentally unfriendly. I have been to Chidipani, Palpa, a month before, for my community health need assessment student field assignment. pod, or a mud chula while in some houses there were biogas fuel stoves (gover gas or LPG). However, the usual type of cooking stove was a rustic chula as most of the people here in Chidipani have poor economic status. transfer of heat from the flame to the cooking pots. During my one month stay in this community, I learned more about the Chula. It was easy for me to learn about this traditional stove as I was living with a family that was using it for cooking. This article is the result of my experience with the rustic Chulas, their use and their effects on the health of the family. Every morning, Didi (the housewife) spent around two hours just on cooking meals. Altogether she used to spend 5 hours a day in the kitchen. She was using the traditional tripod type stove. She often had problems lighting the Chula. Due to the poor housing conditions, her chula used to get wet by dew drops falling from the roof of kitchen and it took a lot of time to relight the wet chula. Once she lighted the Chula, the smoke soon occupied the whole kitchen leading to excessive levels of indoor air pollution. After burning for some time, the fire needs to be gutted and the burned wood needs to be replaced with a fresh supply. There was no ventilation to divert the smoke out of the kitchen. Very dangerous situation! The situation even gets worse when it rains because the firewood gets wet and is very difficult to burn. The housewife didn‟t know that not diverting the smoke out of the kitchen is harmful to the families‟ health. Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 25 November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women To help her understand this danger, I tried to explain that she needs to provide adequate ventilation to allow the smoke to escape from the kitchen. Unfortunately, this is an example of the everyday situation of many housewives in their daily routine in Chidipani. In this community, types of stoves depend on local availability and on the economic status of the households. In some houses there were “agenu” (open fireplace), simple three-stones or a tri- In my time in the village, I used to ask the residents, what kinds of problems they were facing with the use of primitive cooking stoves. They replied that their chulas are allergic, consume more time, the cooking pots get black, and produce excessive smoke. They have difficulty breathing and lighting the firewood is difficult. Moreover, there is a significant loss of heat from the stove and pots into the environment, with a minimum When I asked for the reasons for using the traditional chulo, Damanti replied, “We do not have enough money to install the improved cooking stoves”. Usha, Damanti‟s friend had a different answer. She told, “traditional chula are easy to construct and cheap to install. Moreover, we do have enough firewood available in the village without having to pay for it”. These people are eager to install the smokeless chula only when the government and the related partner organization provides incentives (financial or logistics). Thus, there is urgent need for government to focus its improved cook stove devel- opment and dissemination activities in this community. There is limited awareness among the people about the use of smokeless chula and the health as well as economic effects traditional chulas creates on long run. Awareness through the use of mass media, focus group discussion with mother groups should thus be strengthen and promoted. In addition, operation research should be conducted to observe more reliable findings on problems of traditional chula. Until the next issue! Amrit Banstola

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