As in all rural parts of Nepal, women in Duli Village Development Committee of Rukum used to spend a lot of time in their daily household chores using a large volume of wood to cook the food.
With the growth in the population, the demand of wood for cooking grew. This put a lot of pressure on nearby forests. As the people exploited more and more of forests for fuelwood, the mountain got denuded and becamevulnerable to landslides.
Looking at the scenario, Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP) came up with a pilot scheme to reduce the pressure on the forest. Following a study, it revealed that modification of stoves making them smokeless can reduce the volume of wood used as well as the smoke. Thus came the smokeless stoves for the rural population as a means of adaptation.
Building smokelessstoves, the peopleof her communityare protectingtheir forest, andalso themselves from health risks and other hazards.
Following the introduction of smokeless stoves, a new wave of excitement has started inthe remote areasof Duli VDC of Rukum District. With the training fromNCSSP, local women havechangedtheir kitchen environment by building improved cooking stoves.
“Although we provide a simple technology and knowledge, the smokeless stoves have brought a drastic change in the rural life,” said Naresh Sharma, National Program Manager of Nepal Climate Change Support Program (NCCSP).
This simple but effective technology can be made in homes at lowcost with locally available resources and tools.
According to a project, Mina Gharti, mother of six, was one of the first to pioneer the newcooking stove. She explains how the local villagers are enjoying alot of benefits. First of all, there is much less smoke and Mina andher children no longer feel suffocated when they cook.
The stoves are also more efficient and use less fuelwood. “This way, we can preserve the forest from being destroyed,”she explains. The forests in her hill district play a vital role inpreventing landslides and regulating water flows.
Efficient stoves also save women time. Cooking is much fasterand they spend less time foraging for fuel wood. Cleaning cookingutensils is also much quicker as they are no longer covered inblack tar caused by the smoke.
Mina is so inspired by the benefits of her improved cooking stovethat she is campaigning for a ‘smoke-free VDC’ with help of herfemale peers.
The best part of this is “I have to work less than before and havemore time for myself and children,” says Mina. "I am very gratefultowards NCCSP for its guidance and support”.
Implemented in collaboration with Ministry of Science,Technology and Environment (MoSTE)and Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD), Nepal Climate Change Support Program(NCCSP) has the overall goal of enabling the poorest and most vulnerable communities to adapt to adverse effects of climate change.
Following the adaptation of National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) and subsequently prepared and implemented Local Adaptation Plans for Action (LAPAs), Ministry of Environment and Population launched the programs in 90 VDCs and 7 municipalities of the 14 districts of mid and far western region.
LAPAs reflect most urgent and immediate adaptation action – as expressed by the communities - that require to be implemented at the community level to enable them to adapt to climate-induced issues.
“As Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries to the climate risk, climate change impact is already observed in the sectors like agriculture, forest and biodiversity, water resources, public health, infrastructure and livelihoods,” said Sharma. “As the project is popular and successful at the local level, we are planning to expand this program at the national scale.”