Practical Action test out new clean cooker with the Gurkhas
The Queens Gurkha Signals regiment tested out a new cook stove which could save thousands of lives back in Nepal in front of a special VIP audience in an event organised by Practical Action. World Health Organisation figures show that some four million people worldwide die each year from smoke pollution inside their homes generated by cooking over open fires. In Nepal most of these deaths are a result of respiratory infections and most victims are women and children under five.
To publicise the event, the Gurkhas put the Score cook stove pioneered by The University of Nottingham through its paces in front of the Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University, the Nepalese education minister and the chief executive of Practical Action, Simon Trace.
Simon Trace said “Practical Action have been working with the Nepalese government and as a result they have committed to universal smoke-free cooking by 2017. We are running a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of smoke when cooking and to promote clean cookers as a way of meeting this target. Breathing in smoke from open fires kills more people every year than malaria. In Nepal, because of the cold temperatures, people suffer greatly from smoke inhalation. Ironically, while many of the Ghurkas risk their lives fighting in the British Army, back home their families suffer from chest conditions related to breathing in smoke.”
Major Rana said “In the foothills of the Himalayas, where the Gurkhas are recruited, there is no alternative to open fire cooking as the most of the villages do not have electricity or gas. This innovative smokeless cooker will go a long way to alleviate smoke related infections for the thousands of people in Nepal. Therefore I commend the efforts of both the University of Nottingham and Practical Action to help the people of Nepal and at the same time reduce carbon emissions.”
Paul Riley said “The SCORE stove is designed to allow smoke-free cooking in a range of conditions — if anyone can put it through its paces it’s the Gurkhas. We hope the demonstration shows how this research could make a significant difference to the lives of people in Nepal.”