In Guatemala respiratory illness is the leading of cause of death for children under 5. In rural areas where few can afford modern cooking stoves or fuel such as propane, traditional wood fires are inside homes with little to no ventilation creating a dangerous living environment and chronically exposing women and children to smoke. The heavy need for fire wood increases deforestation, pollution and subsequent watershed destruction creating further vulnerability within these poor communities.
Sustainable Stoves serve traditional roles while implementing a basic sustainable design. They are used like traditional stoves but use 75% less firewood, maintain heat more efficiently, and are raised off the ground to prevent accidents and injury, especially for children.They also feature a chimney to remove smoke and toxic fumes from the homes. These stoves conserve trees and watershed, save families time and money and create a safer and healthier living environment.
Education is critical for long term success of this project. Families and community members are directly involved in the construction of every stove and HRI provides education to the community about the harsh effects of smoke exposure to themselves and their children. Creating healthier environments indoors for women and children, educating families, as well as conserving trees and watersheds are long term benefits which become greater over time.
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