In winter in Nepal it is incredibly cold and they use the fire to keep their homes warm. It is also a matter of privacy - having a personal, home space is extremely important in virtually every culture. And even when you cook outside, the smoke particles are still harmful.

In remote, rural areas of Nepal it is not possible for many households to connect to grid electricity. It can also be too expensive for families to afford. We have a programme of building and rehabilitating micro-hydro plants in rural Nepal, but these are not accessible everywhere.

They have no alternative. People need to keep themselves warm and fed, and with no access to modern energy sources, an open fire can be their only option. We know that most people want cleaner cookstoves and / or chimneys, but we need to find ways for everyone to access them.

The smokehood removes up to 80% of the smoke inside a home generated by the fire.

Yes, but not as much as high chimney attached stoves.  With the smoke hood only residual heat goes through the flue after use of generated heat for cooking and radiation for heating the room.

We work with people to help them lift themselves out of poverty, not just give them handouts. We don’t give them away because it undermines the market conditions. In over 20 years of trying to overcome indoor air pollution, we’ve learnt that it’s absolutely vital that you create demand within communities, to sustain what you are doing. If you give people smokehoods and others in the community see this they will be reluctant to purchase them because they think they may be able to access them for free or at a cheaper price.

8,700 people died in the earthquake in 2015 - but 22,000 people die every year in Nepal from the effects of breathing in smoke from open fires. We are also working in communities where the earthquake struck, but this work is being led by the Nepali Government.

What can we do to stop the killer in the kitchen?

Practical Action has developed simple smoke hoods, which reduce indoor smoke levels by up to 80%.
Fuel-efficient stoves can also help. Affordable and easy to use, they burn smaller amounts of wood more fully – meaning significantly less smoke.
And in some areas, cheap liquid petroleum gas (LPG) or biogas produced from animal dung can provide families with clean, energy-efficient ways to cook without the risks of smoke.

Read more about household air pollution and our work to fight it

How can you help?

Household smoke is a killer. But we have simple solutions that can stop it.
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