For anyone who has been down to the slums in the evening or morning, one thing you will notice is the smoke that billows out from their homes. Most of the families rely on wood and stoves made from bricks or stones. It is obviously the cheapest form of cooking as they just spend time collecting the wood, and after making sure it's nice and dry, it is burned to heat water for bathing and for cooking their meals which is often just simple rice and dahl. It is a cheap and easy source of power but is terrible for people's health. When you walk into their houses, you will notice the thick black smoke caked on the walls and ceiling. Looking at the ceiling just terrifies us to think how their lungs must be affected and how much the smoke will affect the development of the children. Every day, their rooms are filled with the smoke for an hour or two as they cook their meals.
We have started to provide help for those who wish to move to the cleaner gas stoves. The main problem with gas though, is the requirement for ID proof which many families do not have, and therefore cannot obtain the large gas bottles from the suppliers. We are able to obtain smaller gas bottles, although not an ideal solution as they need refilling more often, and are not as cheap as the government subsidised bottles. Using the bottled gas will surely have a huge impact on the health of children and parents alike. More and more families are asking for help in obtaining the new stoves which shows that its a popular way of helping, We have provided two in the past week and hope that more families will follow suit.