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www. WaterForHumans.Org

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer Newsletter -- We have been busy


Water for Humans Summer Newsletter: 2014

WFH exists because of you!!! Thank you for your support. 
click on a picture for the story behind it
BeautifulDishes   ChiapasDelegationVisit  Bayalemo

DesignProcess  WoodPile  WomenCooking

WomanWithLaMazateca  HandsWeaving  RickInSuit


What's so special about these dishes in Oaxaca? They are clean! And they are in the same room as a La Mazateca stove. This would never have happened in homes with traditional three-stone fires burning openly. Since late last year, 90 families have installed these stoves in the 4 communities where Water for Humans works. So far 640 men, women, and children have experienced greatly reduced indoor smoke, and women and girls are reporting that their wood cutting time has been reduced 50 to 70%. After seeing the working stoves, another 100 families would like to install them. It is very important to note that these stoves are not given to households. Rather, the community and families have to work to get funding. 

This success has caused us to pursue a second generation clean cook-stove - Generation 2.0. This new stove design will be less costly and much easier to build, more efficient, and thus more sustainable. To make this a reality, we are raising funds for research and development, prototype tooling, and stove certification by the Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove, OR. Certification is very important, because it will give the stove world-wide credibility and enable the stove-builders and emerging social venture enterprise to support their claims as they market the stove. 

Certification of clean cook-stoves is an initiative from the UN and the World Bank. Generaton 2.0 will meet the certification standards of the Global Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves. This includes international standards certified by a third party for indoor and outdoor emissions, and overall cooking efficiencies. The certification process enhances WFH's design process for producing a better stove. It also allows governments, NGOs and end users to objectively evaluate different technologies and provides the potential of selling carbon credits to support climate change initiatives. The Gen-2 clean cook-stoves will be tested in the homes of participating community members. 

Our goal: Generation 2.0 cook-stove will be ready six to nine months after we secure the required funding. 
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Where are these people in traditional Chiapas clothing headed? Through our partners at The Hunger Project, women in Chiapas heard about the Generation 1 "La Mazateca" clean cook-stoves and created a video explaining why they needed La Mazateca. They invited Water for Humans and the Mazateca stove-builders to Chiapas. But first, a group from Chiapas traveled to the Mazateca to meet families using the stoves. This was an extraordinary and unique event: Two very different indigenous communities seeking each other out and coming together for mutual advancement. The two indigenous groups needed translators, because few of them speak Spanish, yet they made an amazing connection. In both Chiapas and the Mazateca, the clean cook-stove program has the potential to reach 50,000 people. 
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THE ROAD INTO BAYALEMO, Larrainzar Municipality, Chiapas

Where is this road gong? In late June 2014, this was the first view of Bayalemo for Mazatec stove-builders who made the journey along with Water for Humans co-founder, Stan Brown. The group from the Mazateca spent the next week building a pilot stove with the local community. 
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Why are these pots significant? Women in Bayalemo discussed what size pots they would most want to use on the new stove, and after lots of pots were tried out, came to a decision that enabled the stove-builders to modify the stove top design to accommodate the preferred pot sizes. Water for Humans makes sure that local conditions, culture, preferences, and practical concerns are all taken into consideration in our design, engineering, and building processes. This way, long after we are gone our technologies will continue to serve the community.
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This photo gives some of us a backache just looking at it! This is the amount of wood people in Bayalemo, Chiapas need to keep close at hand for just a few weeks of cooking. Multiply this amount of wood by the 50,000 people in the region who are expected to adopt the La Mazateca clean cook-stove. That's a lot of wood coming out of the rainforest, and that means lost habitat for rainforest creatures and plants, less groundwater retention, less shade for coffee, less water during the annual four-month drought, and more flooding when it finally does rain. The reduction in wood cutting that comes with the adoption of clean cook-stoves will make a major difference for the rainforest and the people living here. 
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These women are happy with the Bayalemo pilot stove and thrilled to start using it as part of the Bayalemo stove lighting ceremony. They also are looking forward to seeing more of these clean cook-stoves in their community. Now and in the coming months when more stove-builders are being trained is the perfect time to introduce the much improved Generation-2 stove. Water for Humans is actively raising funds to complete engineering and testing for this improved stove that will be even less expensive and can be built anywhere in the world. 
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This photo was taken in Bayalemo on the day of the new pilot stove lighting ceremony. Compare the thumb-sized diameter of this fuel wood with the photo of big wood piles. Wood this size can be found closer to home, it's easier to transport, and far less is needed. 
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All along, the Water for Humans team has predicted that as women and girls are freed from the massive amount of time they spend cutting and carrying firewood, they will find more productive uses for their time. The women in Bayalemo already know what they want to do: create more of the beautiful crafts such as the weaving shown here to sell from their cooperative.
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Who is the man in the suit? It's Rick McKenney, Water for Humans co-founder and executive director in Geneva accepting an award from the International Licensing Executive Society that is very valuable for us and the communities we work with in Mexico. The award is for pro-bono work securing patents and licensing for our clean cook-stoves. 

With the help of our partner, The Hunger Project (THP), and patent attorneys associated with Invent for Humanity, we plan to secure intellectual property rights in Latin America and India. In collaboration with THP, we will help form a co-op business structure for a social enterprise starting with our current promoters (stove builders) to make the stoves available in the greater Mazateca region. 
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why A Toilet Alone Won't Do The Job: The 'Software' Of Sanitation Innovation

“The 2015 goal to halve the proportion of people living without sanitation is running 150 years behind schedule.”
- WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation 2010

Since 2008, the “International Year of Sanitation,” the topic of toilets has more frequently appeared in media all over the world. Despite many efforts, today there are still 2.5 billion people worldwide without access to improved sanitation. Why? Because a toilet alone won’t do the job.
(complete Forbes article)