In many parts of the world families must cook over open fires. Often used in areas with poor ventilation, these smoky “three rock fires” cause asthma, eye problems and sometimes terrible burns. Women and children especially spend hours each day gathering firewood for these fires, and many areas of the world now face significant deforestation because of over harvesting of the forests.
In recent years designs for simple stoves have been developed that are much safer to use and burn less fuel. They are made of adobe or cement blocks with chimneys and vent the cooking smoke to the outside so that the air inside the family homes is healthier. Sometimes called “rocket stoves” for the intense concentrated heat they provide, these stoves are very efficient at Pasteurizing drinking water as well as cooking. We at Agua Pura Para El Pueblo support their use as an alternative to solar stoves where a more permanent stove is needed, and for use at night and in bad weather.
Agua Pura is going to offer a free workshop on the construction of rocket stoves, on Sunday, September 19th in Portland at the home of Executive Director Tom Carter. The workshop is free and open to anyone who is interested in the design of these stoves. It will be led by Katie and Roberto Masferrer, directors of Mejor Communities an Oregon non-profit working in a small community in northern Peru to develop youth health advocates. Katie and Roberto were recent Peace Corps volunteers in Peru and built a number of these stoves while serving there. We will attempt to build a rocket stove for practice during our workshop. Tom Carter will also give demonstrations of solar stoves and discuss water pasteurization using simple techniques. We expect the workshop to last most of the day, so participants are asked to bring items for a potluck lunch. Wear work clothes and bring work gloves.
For more information on rocket stoves you can see Mejor Communities website at www.mejorc.org and follow links. There is also information about different types of stoves and water purification systems here on our website as well. I hope to see you at our workshop!
you can contact me at tom@aguapuraparaelpueblo for more info.