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Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea

by Indigenous Health Solutions, Inc. Vetted since 2017
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Protect forest & 100 families in Papua New Guinea
Observing the low fuel, low emission cookstove
Observing the low fuel, low emission cookstove

The novel technologies brought to the Suowi Ankave people through your generous support are being accepted and appreciated.  Notably, the clean cookstoves, high quality, wrought iron based rocket stoves are being used regularly despite initial concerns they may be rejected. 

The Suowi Ankave live 3 days walking distance from any road, and as such utilize very few modern implements in their daily lives. There was a risk that while the concept of the clean cookstoves was welcomed, once they were physically present they might be rejected. We are happy to report that has not been the case. 

The forest upon which the Suowi Ankave depend remains hearty and healthy, the main threat the Suowi Ankave has perceived thus far related to forest degradation is a decline in game for hunting. Loss of trees, forest canopy is not something they bring up in their top concerns. Given that, the people are expressing appreciation for the very low fuel requirements of the clean cookstoves, which means far fewer trees harvested for fires. 

Moving forward, health impacts of reduced exposure to smoke will be monitored. At baseline, respiratory illness has been a major cause of death and morbidity for all ages of people in Suowi Valley. Eliminating a significant protion of smoke exposure may help. 

We would like ot take this opportunity to thank all of our generous supporters--your dedication to protecting the forest and its indigenous people in Papua New Guinea inspires all of us. We look forward to pressing on in this complex integrated conservation and development work.

An exciting new initiaitve will be started soon, where select goods can be purchased in support of Indigenous Health Solutions; we will begin selling a rare coffee table book full of breathtaking photos and cultural inforation about the Suowi Ankave, as well as wild grown organic Arabica coffe from the hinterlands of PNG, purchased directly from village family growers at Fair Trade prices, roasted in small batches, to be delivered throughout the US. All profits will go directly to support Indigenous Health Solutions programmatic work in Suowi Valley. 

Community members maintain the airstrip vital link
Community members maintain the airstrip vital link
Dixon making improvement to clinic
Dixon making improvement to clinic
A Suowi Ankave child inspects the new tech in town
A Suowi Ankave child inspects the new tech in town

The Indigenous Health Solutions forest-preserving, clean-cooking, health-sparing cook stoves project launched in April 2018 with great success! The initial batch of rocket stoves were brought into Ikundi, Suowi Valley, and distributed evenly among the clans. Though quite different from the traditional log fires used to cook food and provide heat in this extremely remote forest hamlet accessible only by trek or air, the rocket stoves were met with curiosity and interest. The ease of use and efficiency of the stoves proved popular features; one needs only small pieces of combustible fuel, and the heat of the stive cooks food rapidly and warms the area as well. An initial concern that the stoves may be rejected because log fires produce smoke that repels malaria-carrying mosquitos was put to rest by the mosquito nets and teaching provided along with the stoves. 

The clean cook stoves project allowed us to reconnect with the community, hear about current priorities, challenges and successes, conduct a new census, and also check in on existing projects in conservation, health, infrastructure, education, and midwifery. We were thrilled to observe the indigenous knowledge transfer about living in harmony with and seeking medicinal succor from the forest being supported by the success of the tiny bush-material school there. The health clinic and staff house erected a few years back remain in excellent condition, and a resident health worker made his probationary rotation in April, notably saving a 3 year old girl from paralysis.

However, there is still no running water in the clinic, the school, or in the bush-material birthing house constructed by the IHS-trained village midwives. Without electricity, use of the few solar lights currently available is stretched. We need your help to address these and other trials; and to maintain the community engagement and ownership of this work, which forges a path to sustainability. Please visit our website www.indigenoushealthsolutions.org to be included on our mailing list, and get more information about progress and upcoming initiatives. Please also consider another donation to this project; it would be enormously helpful to keep the momentum generated by this initial resounding success going. We are grateful for your part in introducing clean cook stoves in this very remote forest community; signing up for monthly recurrent donations is a fantastic way to support this work as well.

Until the next update from the lungs of the Earth, the tropical forests of Papua New Guinea, we wish you all the best.

First public demonstration of clean rocket stove
First public demonstration of clean rocket stove
Taking a new census of the Suowi Ankave
Taking a new census of the Suowi Ankave

Links:

A Suowi Ankave girl gathering water for cooking
A Suowi Ankave girl gathering water for cooking

We are so excited that our generous donors have made our low fuel, low emissions cookstives project possible by contributing to our campaign during the end-of-year Accelerator, and by enrolling in automatic onthly donations. The campaign became such a success, that we are deep in preparations to implement this forest conservation and repsiratory health project during the month of April. 

The sole brave pilot who lands on the Ikundi airstrip deep in the mountainous forest in Suowi Valley has our project on his shcedule.  Our doctors, nurses, anthropologists, and conservation biologists are ready to bring in training and health services along with the first delivery of low emission cookstoves, solar and hygiene kits, and essential medicines via fixed wing aircraft. The midwives we trained in 2016 will be the first to learn about the rocket stoves, solar lights, and hygiene kits, including treated mosquito nets, to protect families as they sleep and eliminate the need for smoke to fill the house at night as a mosquito deterrent. The midwives in turn will be able to teach the families they serve through their midwivefery skills. 

While we can't say how the rocket soves will be received by the community at this point, we do anticipate receptivity to the new technology, based on the time saved in gathering wood, understanding of the forest conservation that will be realized by decreasing the amount of trees harvested, lowered risk of burns, and the improvement in respiratory health, particularly of women and children. As always, we will use our community participatory model to be sure the needs and concerns of the Suowi Ankave are put first in this time of change. 

Because these stoves will reduce fuel use by 30-60%, they will emit less greenhouse gas, carbon emissions, decrease black carbon emission by 50-90%, and will soften the impact on the Papua New Guinea rainforest, and all the creatures that depend upon it for life. 

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Indigenous Health Solutions, Inc.

Location: Santa Fe, NM - USA
Website:
Twitter: @indigenous_HS
Project Leader:
Sarthak Das
Santa Fe, NM United States
* This project is competing for bonus prizes
through the 2018 Year-End Campaign. Terms and conditions apply.

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