| Boiling Point No. 03 - October 1982 |
The area covered by the Indo-German Dhauladhar Farm Forestry Project (HP, Palampur, North India) is about 350 sq km. Population 30,000 (GR 30% in 10 years) in 102 villages. Altitude 500 to 4,500m. Rainfall 2,500mm pa, falling mainly in Dec-Jan and July-Sept. Farms are small and the land is worked up to high altitudes, adding to soil erosion. Many: of the men work in road building gangs as the agricultural production is sufficient for only 4 months of the year.
The project is working in forestry (planting fodder and fuelwood species); animal husbandry improving breeds and management); agriculture; horticulture; and alternative -technology which is concentrating on fuelwood saving stoves.
Houses are built of stone and mud on two storeys, with a slate roof. The kitchens are found on the first floor so that smoke can escape through gaps in the eaves of the roof. The existing stoves are chimneyless with two or three pot holes and are made from mud at no cost by the women.
Nearly all fuelwood is collected, not purchased. For the long-term, fuelwood trees are being planted around the villages, but for now, efforts are being made to introduce fuel conserving stoves. The design chosen was the New Nepali Chulo, one of which was installed in a house in December 1980. The household used the stove all the time for two months, but complained that the stove did not provide enough personal heating, and objected to the increased work required as the wood had to be cut into small pieces for the stove to work efficiently.
Three months' development work followed to improve the Nepali Chulo and modify it to suit local conditions. It was decided to utilise the village motivators as extension workers. Demonstration units were made in the schools and in the homes of most of the motivators, after they had been trained in construction. Five families were asked to cook alternately on their old and new stove. From observations made it was found that the new stove was able to save more than 40X fuelwood, cook faster, keep food warm for about 5 hours, and get rid of troublesome smoke from the kitchen.
The village motivators were to motivate the people, construct the stoves, give instruction on its proper use, and report regularly on the stoves' condition. After 50 stoves had keen made and installed a survey revealed that most of them had not been constructed correctly, and the owners had not been given adequate instruction in the use of the stove. The rate of stove building was slow - the motivators complained that they had too much other work to do besides building stoves.
It was decided to employ people as professional stove builders who visited the villages in turn, building several stoves in each. In this manner about 350 stoves had been--built by +March 1982.
During this period the motivators were responsible for reporting on the condition and usage of the stoves and the reactions of users. However, in April 1982, a survey revealed that many stoves were in bad condition, improperly used and not saving fuel - some even reported that more fuel was needed. Users complained that their dissatisfaction with the stoves was being reported to the motivators, but the information had not been passed on.
As a result, from May 1982, the stove constructors were asked to visit the users regularly to educate them in the proper use of the stove, to repair the stoves where necessary and to build another if the first stove was irreparable. Out of about 500 homes with the new stove, 70 needed a new one, but 10 of these households refused to have another mainly due to irritation over the earlier lack of follow up. Most of the bad stoves had been built incorrectly, in some cases the mixture had not been made properly, or not allowed to set for the required period of time, or some other hurried improvisation made.
Coming up to date, most people are aware that the project is installing new stoves by subsidy. Motivating people to request a new stove is no longer a problem. It has been established beyond doubt that the new stove is an improvement when properly built, used and maintained.
Based on our experience, the strategy for stove building in future will be as follows:
1. Village motivators will collect the names of interested people, inform the stove constructors, and with them decide the date on which they will come to guild the stoves. The village motivators will supervise the preparation of the mud mixtures in good time for the date.
2. The stove constructors will make the stove block on the given date, and will be responsible for returning to the village when the blocks are dry enough to do the cutting and to fix the accessories (which are stored by the motivator). The stove constructors have supervisors in attendance for the cutting process.
3. After the stove becomes operational the constructors visit the households twice a week until they are satisfied that the stove is being used properly; then every fortnight the supervisors will visit the household for a period of two months.
4. The motivators report fortnightly on the condition of the stoves to the Extensio Section while the stove supervisors give weekly report to the Energy Section ofeach of the stoves in their area. This way reports can be cross checked and mistakes made in the past will not repeated.
P M Chiplonkar Palampur, HP, India