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Clean Cookstoves – Nepal


The tiny Himalayan nation of Nepal is famed for the world’s highest peak and abundant wildlife. It is also known for its grinding poverty where many families eke out a living. Sixty percent of people in Nepal rely on wood to cook their meals. They spend hours foraging for wood in nearby forests, risking attack from predators like wild tigers. At home, the wood fires produce more smoke than heat, causing serious respiratory illnesses.

In a rural village on the edge of a forest in Nepal is one of these families that live at risk. Buddhi Ram Mahato, his wife Chanar, son Dambar, and daughter Chanda have no electricity in their house, making chores extremely difficult and dangerous.

Because of these risks, Power The World is woking to provide families with safer and more environmentally friendly cooking solutions.

My father was a farmer and his father before him, well, they too lived off the land. Namaste! My name is Buddhi Ram Mahato and I’m following the same well-worn steps they left behind in the mud, with one big difference—I believe that change is coming and that I will be part of a new and better future.
This is my family. Every day, I go out and farm our small plot of land for rice and corn to earn enough to keep food in our bellies and clothes on our backs. I do not know a life beyond ploughing, planting and harvesting. One bad harvest, one crop ruined by wild deer or marauding elephants can ruin us. My family depends on my ability to farm and even though I don’t make much money—less than a dollar a day.
This is Chanar, my wife. We have been together for 28 years. She is a housewife and works extremely hard. Chanar raises our four children, tends to our buffalo and four goats, cleans the house, and spends hours every day collecting wood to cook our meals. She has been my companion through thick and thin and I hope, someday, I will be able to give her a better life.
I have two sons. Dambar is the youngest and he lives at home. He loves soccer and dreams of becoming a successful businessman. His older brother lives in the capital Kathmandu. Dambar just finished tenth grade and hopes to go to college one day. Finding a way to pay for his education has been tremendously difficult for us. We recently sold two goats to pay for his school fees.
Chanda is my youngest daughter; my eldest is already married and lives away from home. Chanda is taking sewing classes and dreams of one day opening her own store. She loves Bollywood movies and listening to music. When she was very young, my wife and I made an extremely difficult decision to send Chanda to Kathmandu to work as a domestic servant, thinking that at least she would have enough to eat. I’m so happy she is back at home with us. I love my daughter.

I am proud that Nepal has eight of the Earth’s tallest peaks including Mount Everest, which towers at over 29,000 feet! Thousands of tourists come to Nepal each year to experience adventure and enjoy the beauty of our country.
While most Nepalis are Hindus, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism are also freely practiced here. In fact, Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha, who was born in Lumbini, which is a sacred pilgrimage site for Buddhists today.
Nepal has many rich and unique cultures. We often describe ourselves as a garden of different castes and ethnicities who celebrate our history and spirit through art, literature, music, folklore, food and festivals.
Nature is close to the heart of Nepalis. In many cases, it thrives in our backyards. My village is on the edge of Chitwan National Park, which is home to some of the world’s rarest and most iconic species: tigers, rhinos, and elephants.
Most people in Nepal rely on agriculture to earn their living. I work on a small plot of land in Kumrose that provides us with just enough food for my family. Some days there’s simply not enough to go around and hunger creeps in.

Poverty is a daily reality in Kumrose. Many people in our village live on less than a dollar a day. Our thatched mud house does not have electricity or water, making daily chores like cooking an arduous task. We risk encountering tigers when we forage for firewood in the forest.

So far, 285 BioGas Cook Stoves have been installed in Nepal, giving over 1,000 people access to renewable energy. Although we have already exceeded our original fundraising goal of $100,000 there are still many families in Nepal who can benefit from clean cook stoves.

WWF BIO(GAS) Cook Stoves


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