Traditional Himalayan cook stoves are incredibly inefficient and require a lot of fuel just to prepare a simple meal. That fuel, which typically consists of wood and yak dung, can be quite scarce in many areas of the Trans-Himalayan region where the gathering of kindling has led to deforestation. Additionally, the new stoves are far healthier for the people using them as they vent noxious smoke and fumes outside of the living space. In the past it wasn't even possible for families to eat their meals together indoors as their homes were too filled with smoke to make the experience an enjoyable one. Thanks to these new stoves however, that is already changing.
The team behind the project has set an ambitious goal of distributing 10,000 stoves in five years. Their efforts this past spring served as a pilot for the program and by all accounts it was a smashing success. They now believe that it is possible to distribute as many as 3000-4000 stoves each year and with the proper support and backing, the realization of their goal is more than within reach. I'm told that the organization has secured some high profile backers that will assist moving forward, but this is a great project that can still use more help.
The video below, which was shot in Nepal this past spring, clearly shows how the project is having an immediate impact on the lives of those that it touches. It is evident that this grass-roots effort is both good for the environment and the health of those living in the Himalaya, and it's not often that you see an organization make such a profound change on people's lives in such a short amount of time.
For more information on the Himalayan Stove Project, be sure to visit their website.