Breathe Easy Nepal 2014 Team Will Revisit Gamcha, Assess Benefit of Clean Burning Stoves

The team donated fuel efficient, fully-vented stoves to prevent death and sickness from Household Air Pollution

The Himalayan Stove Project we wrote about in EN in February 2014 will return to Nepal this fall during the post-monsoon season to gather data on how its donated stoves have been performing. The Breathe Easy Nepal 2014 team, led by George Basch, 77, of Taos, N.M., will work with a local Rotary Club in Nepal that has helped distribute the small clean burning cookstoves to Gamcha, a village near Kathmandu. Data will be gathered with the assistance of Dr. Bruce Johnson, director of The Human Integrative and Environmental Physiology Laboratory of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

The organization, established in 2010, donates and distributes free, clean-burning, fuel-efficient, fully-vented Envirofit cookstoves to people of the High Himalayas. It eliminates the choking, life threatening smoke spewed out by “traditional” cooking campfires on the floor of kitchens, or from inefficient cookstoves in most Nepali homes.

Worldwide, Household Air Pollution (HAP) is responsible for 4.3 million premature deaths annually—one of the world’s biggest killers. Clean cookstoves, which efficiently burn wood, yak dung or crop waste, help reduce that deadly toll.

Over 3,000 have been distributed to date in Nepal.

The team hopes to prove that as a result of using the more fuel efficient stoves, the Nepalese will experience a reduction in respiratory illnesses (e.g. asthma, COPD, respiratory infections), improved respiratory health, and improvement of other health problems (e.g. low birth weights, stunted growth, nutritional deficiencies, and cataracts).

Sponsorship for the Himalaya Stove Project continues to be sought with Adidas already on board. Money will be used for travel expenses, the purchase of stoves, and completion of a documentary, The Hidden Killer of the Himalayas.

For more information: George Basch,


The above story originally appeared in Expedition News.

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