Traditional cookstoves. Village women had been using metal tripods over open fires to cook inside houses. These leaked heat in all directions – left photo above – and produced smoke and particulates that were harmful to their health. They were also inefficient burning a lot of wood that women and children were responsible for gathering in the jungle – 2nd photo. The project provided 38 improved cookstoves with cement refractory linings which reflect and contain heat, and act as a thermal mass to retain heat.
Hotter burning stoves not only reduce particulate emission with a cleaner flame, but means that boiling drinking water, and cooking in general, is faster – which reduces exposure to smoke, and requires less wood. An 18 to 39% fuel saving is claimed in a brochure referenced below.
March, 2020 Improved cookstoves. Photo 1 above shows an improved stove that Bounchan had bought for his quarters in Luang Prabang. Observe the clearly hotter fire chamber. The next three photos were taken in the shop in Luang Prabang where our cookstoves were purchased. The remaining photos, including a comparison of the efficiency of various cookstoves appearing in photo 5, were taken from a slick promotional brochure created by the Dutch NGO SNV encouraging the purchase of these locally produced cookstoves and promoting the opportunities for women entrepreneurs. try to find the old article
Check out the brochure here; the first half has English translations and even an interesting recipe. Definitely worth a look. Also worth checking out is the SNV website; I wish my country, Canada, was was doing something like this!!
Getting the stoves to the village. Cookstoves are being loaded onto a mini-truck in photo1 above. After crossing the Mekong by ferry from Luang Prabang (photo 2), there is a 28 km drive to Houy Thak (Hoi Tak). Photo 3 shows the route on Google Earth. In the next 3 photos cookstoves are transferred to Chinese Buffalo tractors at Houy Thak for the final 8 km.
Photo 7 shows a better section of the road on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. The final 3 photos show the stoves being stored in Bounchan’s house prior to distribution. (Add photos of the new stoves in use.)