Topic: Appropriate Technology & Cookstoves
Intro Questions: What does a typical cooking stove and kitchen like in Nicaragua? What kind of problems could cooking every meal over a wood fire cause?How difficult or expensive do you think it is to buy imported materials in Nicaragua or any part of the developing world?
Discussion Questions: What groups of people suffer the most from indoor airpollution? What problems does open-fire cooking cause? What benefits do improved cookstoves bring outside of health and the environment? How can you convince people to change a major aspect of theirlives that has thousands of years of tradition to back it up? What can organizations do to ensure families don’t go back to using old-style fires if some part of an improved stove were to break? Whatqualities define appropriate technology and what (failed) style of international support is appropriate technology a response to? What are the major problems appropriate technology sets out to address?Activity Options: Look at the walls of kitchens with 3-stone fires. Talk with families who already have improved stoves to see how they’ve been affected, and to see if they have any problems with thenew stoves.

EFFICIENT COOKSTOVES

More than half of the world’s population, and 90% of its rural population, rely on dung, wood, crop waste or coal to meet their most basic energy needs. Cookingwith such solid fuels on the open, “3-stone fire” that is typical in rural Nicaragua produces indoor air pollution. This indoor smoke contains a range of health-damaging pollutants including smallsoot or dust particles that are able to penetrate deep into the lungs. In poorly ventilated dwellings, indoor smoke can exceed acceptable levels for small particles in outdoor air 100-fold. Exposure isparticularly high among women and children, who spend the most time near the domestic hearth. Every year, indoor air pollution is responsible for the death of 1.6 million people - that's one death... [continua]

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