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close this bookAppropriate Community Technology - A Training Manual (Peace Corps; 1982; 685 pages)
View the documentThe Farallones Institute Rural Center
View the documentCHP International, INC.
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsPhase I: Introduction to training
close this folderPhase II: Earthen construction and fuel-saving cookstoves
View the documentPhase II Calendar
View the documentSession 1. Environmental health and sanitation
View the documentSession 2. Traditional methods of cooking: an introduction to cookstove technologies
View the documentSession 3. Fuel-saying cookstoves: gathering information
View the documentSession 4. Cookstove design and innovations
View the documentSession 5. Thinking in pictures: introduction to design drawing
View the documentSession 6. Introduction to independent study
View the documentSession 7. Cookstove operation function and design principles
View the documentSession 8. Understanding the cookstove design process and soil mixes
View the documentSession 9. Insolation meter construction
View the documentSession 10. Cookstove construction
View the documentSession 11. Nature of volunteerism: expectations beyond training
View the documentSession 12. Food issues
View the documentSession 13. The role of the volunteer in development: definition of appropriate technology
View the documentSession 14. Stove promotion and dissemination
View the documentSession 15. Explaining completed cookstoves
View the documentSession 16. Evaluating cookstove efficiency
View the documentSession 17. Diagnosing and repairing malfunctioning cookstoves
View the documentSession 18. Other responses to fuel scarcity
View the documentSession 19. Charcoal production and stoves
View the documentSession 20. Custom and food
View the documentSession 21. Design and construction of the second stove part one: stove base
View the documentSession 22. Alternative cookstoves: presentations
View the documentSession 23. Basic nutrition
View the documentSession 24. Cookstove operation
View the documentSession 25. Cookstove development and innovation
View the documentSession 26. Cookstove information and resources/ evaluation of cookstove training
Open this folder and view contentsPhase III: Pedal/treadle power
Open this folder and view contentsPhase IV: Solar water heaters
Open this folder and view contentsPhase V: Solar agricultural dryers
Open this folder and view contentsPhase VI: Concluding the program: The energy fair
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices

Session 2. Traditional methods of cooking: an introduction to cookstove technologies

Total time:

2 hours


* To discuss the need for alternative sources of energy and energy conservation in developing nations
* To describe the advantages and disadvantages of open fire cooking
* To discuss fuel-saving cookstoves and other alternatives to open fire cooking


* Aprovecho Institute, Helping People in Poor Countries
* Evans and Boutette, Lorena Stoves
* Eckholm, The Other Energy Crisis: Firewood


Matches, locally collected fuels (firewood, dung, dried corn stalks, rice hulls, etc.), cooking utensils, cups, water, earthen stoves, stones, hatchet, machete or ax (if needed) and the ingredients for a hot beverage


Step 1. (5 minutes)
Present the objectives and list the session activities. Outline the phase schedule.

Trainer Notes

Post a copy of the phase schedule on newsprint to refer to during this presentation.

Step 2. (5 minutes)
Review some of the issues raised in Phase I: Session 14, "Global Energy Issues," and have the participants list some of the results of deforestation.

Trainer Notes

Mention Eric Eckholm's pamphlet, The Other Energy Crisis: Firewood, as a resource describing the results of deforestation on developing nations.

Step 3. (10 minutes)
Have participants list some of the possible ways of addressing the problems of deforestation and fuel wood scarcity.

Trainer Notes

The following approaches should be mentioned: reforestation for fuel wood, erosion control, solar ovens and cookers, retained heat cookers, electrification, other fuels such as biogas, kerosene, coal, natural gas, etc., a change in the politics of wood use (lumber use, slash-andburn, etc.).

Mention that these responses to fuel scarcity will be discussed in more detail in Session 18 of this phase.

Step 4. (15 minutes)
Discuss the advantages of the use of improved cookstoves as a way of dealing with the problem of firewood scarcity.

Trainer Notes

Explain that there are many responses to deforestation and the lack of fuel, and that improved cookstoves are only one aproach. However, they are an approach which has been identified as immediate and appropriate.

Briefly mention some of the advantageous characteristics of improved cookstoves (such as low cost, fuel-conserving, built from locally available materials, easily maintained and repaired, smoke control, more sanitary).

Stress that villagers may have motives other than fuel conservation for accepting improved cookstoves (such as enhanced status and/or smoke control).

Mention how cookstoves only delay the problem -- not solve it. Reforestation and perhaps population stabilization are the final answers.

Step 5. (10 minutes)
Facilitate a discussion of open fire cooking (over rocks, on a grate, in a pit) as a traditional method throughout the world.

Trainer Notes

Ask if anyone has ever cooked on an open fire, or if they have seen it done. If people in the group have traveled, they may be familiar with cooking on an open fire as a traditional method Ask them to describe what they saw, the type of fire arrangement and the fuel burned.

Step 6. (45 minutes)
Have participants form small groups and:

* Collect a small amount of fuel from the area.
* Prepare a traditional open cooking fire.
* Bring water to a boil and make a hot beverage to drink.

Trainer Notes

Emphasize that a minimum amount of fuel should be used to simulate a condition of scarcity. If possible, use a fuel that best illustrates the conditions in countries where people will eventually serve. The teams may be formed according to the region of future Peace Corps service.

Step 7. (10 minutes)
Ask each group, while they drink their beverage, to list on newsprint the advantages and disadvantages of open fire cooking that they have gained from this experience. They should also list any additional advantages and disadvantages that might be encountered in a developing country.

Trainer Notes

Be sure a number of categories are included (e.g., safety, efficiency, cost, convenience, impact on health and tradition, social/ceremonial focus, source of heat and light, insect control, etc.) and that specific concerns are discussed (e.g., uneven heat, burns and scalds, fire easily built without practice, easily seen, controlled and moved, accommodation of varying fuel and pot sizes, need for constant tending, health hazards, smoke, much heat not directed to pot, fire doesn't hold heat, etc.).

Step 8. (10 minutes)
Reconvene the groups. Have them post their lists and briefly review them. Ask how the ideas listed could be incorporated into making improvements on the open fire method of cooking. Record any suggestions on newsprint.

Trainer Notes

All suggestions should be welcomed, reviewed and discussed for cultural sensitivity and feasibility. Some ideas may not work but it is important that people begin to imagine how existing and indigenous technologies may be used as a basis for modifications, rather than assuming a new technology must be introduced. Suggestions include: methods to control air flow, directing and retaining heat more efficiently, reducing hazards eliminating smoke, orienting wind, using wind breaks, placing lids on pots, enclosing fire, controlling height of pot, etc.

Step 9. (10 minutes)
Conclude the session by reviewing the variety of approaches that may be taken to improve cooking methods and to save fuel.

Trainer Notes

Mention that in some cases, improved use of open fires can result in significant fuel savings.

Point out the importance of respecting tradition and of encouraging people to identify their problems and propose the solutions based upon their own experiences. Ask for comments and observations about the session.

* Were the objectives met?
* Did people learn about issues, examine advantages and drawbacks, etc?

Fires should be completely doused, the area cleaned and utensils stored before participants move on to another activity.

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