Project highlights 2007-8
1,016 people have been directly benefitted under the Healthy Homes pilot project in Rasuwa through integrated home improvement interventions like WATSAN and waste management, stove and kitchen improvement activities. With these interventions, 16 people including 10 women have gained knowledge on improved ventilation, wall insulation, and simple dry and mud-cement stone masonry. These beneficiaries have also improved their skills in construction. These women are the role models in their community of Gatlang, Rasuwa and have been able to catalyze similar awareness amongst other women to improve their lives.
Practical Action has published the second volume of the Smoke, health and household energy report covering scaling-up methods, monitoring and assessment of smoke alleviating technologies, health impacts and cost benefit of interventions. The report is available online. Similarly, Nepal television's Khoj programme produced a video documentary on the commitment of main political parties in Nepal to mitigate IAP. The documentary was aired nationwide realising the importance of the issue and to share the information with wider audience.
Practical Action has organised district level awareness workshops on "Household energy, IAP and health" in Dhading, Gorkha, Tanahu, Nawalparasi and Rupandehi in March 2008. Further, IAP and Health Forum Nepal (IAPHFN), Practical Action and World Health Organisation (WHO) have jointly organised a two day workshop on "Clean Indoor Air: The Right to a Healthy Life" in Kathmandu, Nepal. The Kathmandu workshop has concluded with a Kathmandu declaration 2008 which emphasises policy changes and reforms needed to address IAP problems in Nepal.
During the reporting period, Practical Action has installed 265 smoke hoods in ten VDCs of Rasuwa. Five local entrepreneurs cum manufacturers are now actively supplying and installing smoke hoods due to rising demand in Rasuwa and neighbouring districts. An independent evaluation in Rasuwa suggests that after the installation of these smoke hoods there is a significant reduction in health cost, consumption of firewood, ARI related diseases and incidences of fire related accidents amongst small children due to open flame.
Financing for smoke hoods
In Rasuwa district ISA Fund Management Committee has been established under the Chairmanship of the LDO. The committee is responsible to manage the district ISA fund which will be mobilised to adopt indoor smoke alleviating technologies in Rasuwa. Six new VRF groups have been formed this year totalling to 18 groups in Rasuwa collecting more than NRs. 6,000 (£46). VRF management committees are active in mobilising fund for purchasing smoke hoods and in creating income generating activities such as livestock and poultry farming, and financing corner shops.
Two VDCs (Dadagaun and Thulogaun) in Rasuwa has shown committment to make their VDCs free of indoor smoke by introducing indoor smoke issues in their annual plans. The DDC is further committed to prioritise IAP problem in their annual plan. Similarly, Shramthali VDC has committed a budget of 10 per cent (of the total Practical Action's Healthy Home budget) as financial support to fund any activities that lead to reduction in IAP. Practical Action and VRF groups have lobbied jointly for the VDC's commitment towards IAP mitigation.