[Stoves] Peru Stove Projects?
laurieiaccino at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 29 10:58:03 CST 2009
I (Laurie Iaccino ) and my partner (Steve Bouton) are in the Cuzco area doing stove projects. We are a long way away from Lima though. but i thought i would share some of our experience. we were here almost 2 years ago and worked in 3 villages in the Cuzco area building 100 stoves. we did surveys but more in the way of health surveys and as it turns out not nearly enough teaching about the stoves. this was discovered when we returned and re-visited the villages to do the follow up health testing. of the people we were able to visit (homes are upwards to 14000 feet and nearly impossible to reach) many had de-constructed their stoves (a sort of Lorena model with a rocket chamber of thick metal (yes, bad idea)2 burners and chimney). reasons for this appeared to be: (a) not enough hands on instruction because we could not always get to the homes, they needed to meet with us which did not dependably happen. (b) up in these elevations it is not just about cooking. their traditional 3-stone fireplace also provides heat. and the opening of the rocket did not provide enough heat. (c) many did not prepare their wood properly and often used branches of eucalyptus with dried leaves attached and all just stuffed into the rocket. and (d) finally the metal rocket, for the folks who did try to use the stove properly, developed holes in spite of its thickness and weight of 7 kg. interestingly enough the problem was not in lighting it tho, it was the holes that developed after 1 year.
now we are in a small village at a lower elevation and working with 10 families and building a stove that has been in part designed by the residents. it has a chimney and is made of 18 adobe bricks. we have a local welder who has made us chimneys and grates, and painted the part of the chimney that is outside with a waterproof paint. of course the chimney has a hat, as well. the burn chamber is larger than our rocket was and made of a mix of arcilla, fine dirt, mud, and a liquid extracted from a planty called paqpa, a type of cactus that our friends in the village says makes it more durable and water proof. we are hoping it addresses the heat issue. it has two burners again but each will accomodate 2 different size pots. so, families provide the local materials: (arcilla or clay, fine tierra (dirt), mud and this extracted liquid and also pay 30 soles. we provide the chimneys, rejillas, (or grates) and the retention cooker and various other things aiding in improved hygiene. (with our past experience, its always better to have them have ownership, and to realize that an improved stove is not the only thing that improves the lives of the people we have come to work with in the andes.)
we are still doing health surveys but this time we are asking more questions about the type of food they cook, and hygiene issues. we are also giving each family a large basket that we are teaching them to use as a retention cooker. here they simply will not cook on a one pot stove. our hope is to teach them to make things like potatoes, rice or soups by first boiling for a certain number of minutes over the cookstove and then putting the pots in a basket lined with rice sacks filled with either paja (grasses) or other insulating materials such as blnkets, pillows etc. then they have 2 burners still free and also when they head to their farmland, food can be cooking while they are working and ready when they get home. i am using one now in our apartment and have made soups, rice and potatoes.
so forgive me for going on. i would advise you locate local people to help you design something that uses local materials. sometimes hiding in these villages are a few people who have put something together already. and these folks are often willing to work and help out their compañeros. and to think about what they eat and if they need the stove for heat. just a few ideas. hopefully its a bit helpful.
soon we will be posting pictures on our blog and also the design of our stove and the survey tool. the address is http://pencilsforperu.blogspot.com
Laurie and Steve
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