Nicaragua – Clean Cook Stoves

Exposure to smoke from cooking fires causes 3.8 million premature deaths each year.

World Health Organization

Traditional cook stoves in the community’s kitchens are not well ventilated which causes the women and children in the household to be exposed to unsafe levels of smoke. This causes them to suffer from ailments related to breathing in high levels of carbon monoxide and other particulate matter. Other NGOs have attempted to mitigate the effects of these cook stoves with little success in improving conditions or sustainability.

While this group has been committed to cookstoves since 2012, the relationship with Nuevo Amanecer in Nicaragua did not start until two EWB-GT students travelled to Matagalpa in December 2013 to perform indoor air quality research and began a dialogue with the community on potential solutions. Approved to be an official EWB program March 2014, the former Cookstoves Group of EWB-GT has adopted the Nicaragua Program and will provide meaningful and sustainable clean cooking solutions to the women of Nuevo Amanecer. In 2015, the project worked to design and prototype stoves to be implemented in communities outside Matagalpa. In May of 2016, the project visited the community to assess indoor air quality and community needs. Based on community input and stove research, in 2017 the project performed an alternative analysis of differing stove models, including the GT Prototype stoves, Ecofogon stoves, and electric stoves. The Angelica Ecofogon was chosen as the best solution and in January of 2018, six stoves were implemented in the community. In July of 2019, 40 stoves were implemented in communities around Matagalpa. In July of 2020, 54 stoves were added to the community, bringing the total up to 100 stoves.

Location

Matagalpa is the sixth most populous city in Nicaragua, and the project focuses on communities just outside Matagalpa. 70% of the population lives in chronic poverty and is faced with issues including unemployment, lack of potable water, and no legal access to electricity.

What We Do

Georgia Tech’s Engineers Without Borders chapter is partnering with Rayo de Sol, a NGO focused on improving the lives of children in Nicaragua. The project is implementing a cost-effective, sustainable, and clean cook stove to improve the health of women and children exposed to current conditions.

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