About the project
The program is not an organization in itself, but rather a platform promoting various projects and activities with a basic philosophy focused on cooperation. AWASUKA was created in July 2015, after the earthquakes in Nepal. Its name comes from the Nepalese words Aawaas Sudhar Karyakram (Habitat Improvement Program). It has been developed by Amics del Nepal, Base-A and CCD (Centre de Cooperació i Desenvolupament de la UPC). In Nepal, through the Rotary Club of Kantipur and Agraagami.
The AWASUKA program always works from different lines of action and with a clear goal: to transmit knowledge to and to raise awareness among the inhabitants of the area regarding safe houses. This has been developed through the construction of antiseismic houses and smoke-free kitchens, as well as through raising awareness about water treatment.
To these mentioned lines of development we have to add a new one for this year 2020. AWASUKA is being undertaken in a heritage preservation project in the municipality of Bhimphedi, thus triying to stop the degradation and the enhancement of it.
You can find more information on AWASUKA’s website.
In times of COVID, house has become the only safe place where humans can take refuge. After many years of experience making earthquake-resistant houses in rural Nepal, AWASUKA has ascertained that there is a much bigger problem: smoke from kitchens.
During 2019 AWASUKA and Practical Action collaborated in the installation of 333 chimneys in Makawanpur District.
The social impact of installing one of these chimneys translates into:
In 2020, AWASUKA collaborates with El Camí de la Solidaritat to install 500 more chimneys and to be able to bring the project to more areas of Nepal.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The eradication of smoke in kitchens contributes to three of the UN’s SDGS:
Why this kind of kitchen?
The model to be installed was designed by Practical Action in collaboration with Bosch-Siemens and some European universities., until it was perfected by AWASUKA. Each smoke-free kitchen is included:
Which comes out through the roof and, thanks to its design, prevents water from entering from the outside.
Funnel-shaped metal hood
Which conducts the smoke by convection into the vertical duct.
Improved stone and clay stove
With 1, 2 or 3 burners and a design that improves combustion, contributing to a 40% saving in firewood.
The operation of this set is highly optimized: more than 90% of the smoke from the space is expelled to the outside, generating a clean and healthy environment inside, where mothers and children can cook without their health being affected by the smoke. The reasons for choosing this type of kitchen for remote rural areas are as follows:
100% acceptance of the beneficiaries. It perfectly fits into their culture and frees them from toxic gases.
40% time saving during firewood collection (due to the saving of firewood from the improved kitchen), which women can use in business or for study purposes.
Lack of fuel alternatives. Electric cookers are not an option as only 17% of the population in Nepal has access to TIER 5 type electrification (needed for cooking) and, in addition, the supply is very unstable in remote areas.
Biogas is not very widespread because it costs to implement, as maintenance is very difficult in remote areas. Gas bottles are expensive and difficult to transport, since the nearest passable road can be more than 3 hours away on foot. Therefore, firewood is the only alternative for biomass in remote areas. Nevertheless, the problem arises with the lack of ventilation, which is solved with the chimney.
The TOTAL price of a kitchen with fireplace (including materials, manufacturing and installation) is 100€. The families pay for 10% of the total amount and also collaborate in its construction — They collect the necessary materials for the improved kitchen (stones, water and clay) and transport the metal sheets from the nearest passable road to their homes.