Hello all, whether you’re interested in the health, economic, or green aspect of this project we have been making progress and results are starting to show. Though we won’t have numbers to report until we compile all of the data, the preliminary look shows the beginning of our hard work paying off. Included is a picture of the first family to receive their stove.
We finished phase two of our project this summer! We measured indoor air pollution in a sample of 30 homes before and after the introduction of the improved cook stoves. The air filters from before and after the introduction of the stoves can be seen in a picture, with the left column being before. There is a clear difference, although due to recent rain it is difficult to fully capture the impact of the stoves, since environmental factors need to be consistent. Phase three will make these stoves available to all in the community for a subsidized price (about $10 when they are normally $120) on a first-come first-served basis for a period of time TBD.
Our efforts are working to provide not only immediate help, but long term results and results beyond the communities we work with directly. We can do this because of a man named Josue. Josue’s family is devoted to their church and cooks over 1000 tamales every weekend to help raise money for their church. He became a part of the SHH family through soccer, a love of one of our founders, where a bond was formed. He is being trained as a local stove trainer; his responsibilities include coordinating delivery of the stoves, installation, training, follow-up, maintenance and general customer care. His involvement helps ensure success by providing adequate follow up, one of the greatest problems of efficient stove programs. This success helps the communities we are currently working with, and we hope will inspire other communities with need to pursue similar stove programs once they see the difference in these families’ lives.
SHH is working to address the weaknesses found in many similar programs. One of the largest weaknesses is the lack of follow up, which is why we are employing Josue. Another is a lack of quantitative results. Through a partnership with ENASA, a Honduran NGO that is monitoring indoor air pollution and the Berkeley Air Monitoring Group we are working to ensure that all donors will have a report of the difference with no doubt about how real it is. Through the phase two sample of thirty households we will have preliminary numbers to report soon on the amount of pollution, and in January, 2009 the impact of respiratory health will be evaluated through survey instruments.
To those of you who have already donated, thank you so much for your contribution. Through mostly donations under $100 we have raised enough money to already afford professional equipment and monitoring and we have been able to ensure that these common concerns can be addressed. Because of you the health of so many is improving. Through increased health and less time and money spent collecting and buying wood the people in this program also have the ability to become more productive, increasing their economic activity. Also, by reducing the amount of wood by half required in a stove we are helping to reduce the rate at which trees are cut and the amount of pollution released. Thank you for allowing this project to progressed as we hoped, though as we near the finish line we need one extra boost of support so we can purchase as many stoves as we have interested customers. Any additional support or extra exposure to others who may be interested is greatly appreciated.
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