In the rural communities of Chanchamayo, income restrictions force many families to cook via wood burning stoves. FIMRC hopes to prevent the spread of disease and death associated with this cooking process by purchasing solar powered cookers.
Most native communities within Chanchamayo have little to no low-income. Their main source of sustenance comes foraging, hunting and fishing. What little income they do have comes from the sale of the meat and fish they collect; this is a very unstable income that cannot provide them with financial security. Many families can’t afford to pay for gas so they cook with firewood inside their houses which, generally, do not have a chimney or an adequate ventilation system which increases the risks of respiratory disease. In Chanchamayo respiratory problems count for 17% of deaths making it the number one killer in the region; this statistic includes chronic respiratory tract disease and acute respiratory infections. Furthermore, 13% of kids in Chanchamayo suffer from chronic child malnutrition and these figures are even higher in native communities.
Solar cookers will reduce exposure to the toxic smoke produced from a woodfire and therefore help to reduce the levels of respiratory diseases and deaths, particularly in of women and children. Cooking with solar energy also decreases the quantity of nutrients, vitamins and minerals lost in the cooking process by cooking food over a longer period of time. This process eliminates the risk of burning the food; this frees up a lot of time for women, giving them more time for their other daily activities (social life, taking care of the kids…) or enabling them to put their time into an income-generating activity. Furthermore, being solar powered means that no wood or gas needs to be found or purchased, therefore, freeing up more time and/or money that can be invested elsewhere. Project donations will be used to purchase necessary materials and tools needed to assemble the cookers as well as pay for certain parts of the kits to be prepared and the transported to and from the community (for personal and materials).