Improved stoves saving rural Bajura women from smoke-induced illnesses

BAJURA: Hundreds of housewives in rural areas of the district have been relieved of dust and smoke after they began using improved stoves (sudharieko chulo).

Recently, the Bajura District Development Committee has launched a campaign to build improved stoves in eight VDCs in the district in coordination with the Unied Nations Development Programme's Nepal Climate Change Support Programme.

More than 1,190 households have been using the improved stoves, informed Santosh Dhungana, the NCCP District Officer.

According to health professionals, preparing foods in traditional stoves with firewood have many health hazards including eye-related problems, cough, headache, skin allergy, diseases related to nose and threat, asthma and respiratory illnesses as the users are exposed to smoke for a long time.

Dewa Shahi (36), a housewife of Baai VDC in the district, would frequently suffer eye and respiratory illnesses due to exposure of smoke and dust. After using improved stoves, she has been relieved of these problems.

Like her, many housewives in the VDCs are attracted towards it. Consequently, the health of the family and environment is improving.

People including newly born kids and pregnant women may develop physical and mental disorders, having long term exposure to smoke and dust, Hemu Shrestha, a staff nurse of Kolti Primary Health Post, shared.

Exposure to smoke can also lead to deadly and chronic diseases including lungs cancer, she warned.