But open fires pose another high risk: many accidents occur, resulting in severe, often life-threatening burns. Apart from the danger to life and limb, entire houses burn down time and again, and with them the livelihood of the families.
Nepalis are traditionally closely associated with the forest. For generations, they managed the forest to gain access to food, energy, drinking water and medicinal plants. Progressive deforestation thus threatens not only valuable ecosystems, but also the livelihoods of the already very poor population, as the availability of food, fodder and energy continues to decline. The degradation of the forests has also increased the risk of flooding and landslides, which have increased massively, especially in the rainy season. And it is precisely in the global fight against climate change that the protection of forests, as one of the largest CO2-reservoirs, is of immense importance.
With the help of energy-efficient smokeless stoves, water or meals can be heated more quickly and the consumption of firewood is significantly lower than with traditional open fires. The insulation provided by a double metal base helps to store the heat generated. The heat of the stoves is regulated and the smoke produced is led outside through a pipe.
Households that use smokeless stoves require up to 50% less firewood. Therefore, improved cookstoves are an important factor in reducing deforestation rates and maintaining carbon storage in forests. It is estimated thatCO2-emissions can be reduced by 2.5 tonnes per cooker per year. In addition, preserving local forests protects wildlife habitat and reduces the risk of natural disasters.
This marks the beginning of a new era for families, the open fire in the middle of the room as the only source of light is now a thing of the past. Our technicians install the solar lighting systems on site and educate residents on how they work and how to maintain them. Families can do minor repair work themselves through these instructions.
By providing access to sustainable, renewable energy through solar panels, a vital contribution is made to raising the standard of living of the village population. Clean energy brings many benefits for people and the environment: risky open fires and kerosene lamps are replaced by the use of solar cells. This reduces CO2, emissions, significantly reduces the risk of fire and improves air quality. It also counteracts deforestation and protects natural resources.
In addition, the whole family benefits from having light available in the evening to do needlework or homework. Especially for women, the work in the household is made much easier. This can make a decisive contribution to combating poverty and optimising educational opportunities.
Progressive deforestation thus threatens not only valuable ecosystems, but also the livelihoods of the already very poor population, because the availability of food, fodder and energy is increasingly diminishing.
Through community-based initiatives children and young people are supported in becoming active for the environment, educate their families and friends, and to dispose of and recycle waste appropriately.
In one mountain village, after his solar system was hooked up, a man told me, “Now we finally have eyes for the dark!” I’ll never forget that. It is worthwhile for people and the environment to establish clean energy in remote areas. We can make it happen with your help!