Ilam, February 19

As District Development Committee, Ilam works to have all households switch from pollution-causing traditional earthen stoves to reformed stoves within this year, the number of households no longer using the traditional stoves has reached 22,000.

The District Development Committee decided in its 21st district council to ramp up the campaign to declare the district free of indoor air pollution.

Of the total 64,502 households in the district, most still have traditional earthen stoves that use wood, charcoal, or animal dung as fuel. Around 35,700 households in Ilam still have traditional stoves. These stoves produce carcinogenic gases harmful for human health. Only 4,775 households in the district use LP gas cylinders for cooking.

Pyang, Gorkhe, Siddhithumka, Lumde, Soyang, Namsaling, Sankhejung, Jitpur, Mabu, Shantidanda, and Maimajhuwa VDCs in the district have already been declared free of indoor smoke, according to the District Coordinator of the Namsaling Community Development Centre Prakash Khatiwada.

Authorities are planning to declare Gajurmukhi, Ibhang, Aamchowk, Naya Bazaar, and Barbote VDCs free of indoor smoke within this year.