Yesterday outreach intern Katie Bliss was joined by Anne Romeo (Circuits) on a visit to the community of Chitux (pronounced chitutsh), located in the lush green hills above Xela. Working with community representatives and Dona Marta, the Director of the school, we are investigating the options to install an improved stove or biodigestor in the school kitchen, where they prepare rice milk and snacks for the children.
At the moment, the school is using firewood to cook on an open stove on the floor. The blackened walls hold testimony to the thick smoke that fills the small kitchen. Dona Marta explained how women cooking in the kitchen have suffered from breathing problems and eye irritations. A â€˜Mynorâ€™ stove, based on traditional local designs, will ensure smoke is removed from the building through a chimney. The stove is also around 50% more efficient and so will use less wood, saving money and local forest resourcesâ€¦bingo! A biodigestor will make marvelous use of locally available animal waste to produce methane gas for cooking, at the same time producing a safe, non-polluting fertilizer as a by-product.
The stove or biodigestor will be installed, by XelaTeco, as a demonstration site through the AIDG outreach program. Community members will be invited to view the technology, watch it in action and ask question. In exchange the community will contribute materials (sand, pumice and clay) and labor. The community representatives are also keen to continue to work in partnership with AIDG/XelaTeco to promote the purchase of appropriate technologies, improving infrastructure and quality of life in Chitux.