12th June 2018

Exposure to smoke, open fires and traditional cookstoves is linked to 1.2 million deaths every year in India. Women and children are disproportionately affected with more than 100,000 children in India dying every year as a result of acute lower respiratory infections caused by the use of solid fuels. As part of his deployment with our partner organisation Prakti, our engineer Nick Morris attended the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves’ Clean Cooking Forum in Delhi in October 2017.  

Prakti Team at GACC Clean Cooking Forum 2017

Prakti, our partner since 2014, is a leader in clean cookstove technology through an award-winning range of stoves designed with their primary users in mind: the women who cook with them. Based in Auroville, India, Prakti works with communities to ensure that women are consulted about the stove design and usability.

For one year in 2017 and 2018 Nick Morris, a mechanical engineer deployed through Engineers Without Borders UK’s Collaborative Projects programme, provided mechanical and manufacturing expertise to Prakti. There he was offered the opportunity to attend the biennial gathering of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC), an important network of leading practitioners leading a clean stove revolution in India.

Clean Cooking Forum 2017

At the Clean Cooking Forum in Delhi, Nick was given the opportunity to hear NGOs, funders, consultants, medical professionals and policymakers discuss the importance of clean energy cookstoves. Specifically, Nick was impressed with the number of different companies and organisations demonstrating various innovative cookstove concepts, with fuels ranging from waste cooking oil to processed wood pellets.

Attending the Forum also highlighted to Nick the importance for social enterprises and manufacturers of working directly with the intended users. According to Nick, “as a research centre, Prakti has an advantage by being located in India. The proximity to  the customers helps us to understand their needs and quickly test concepts.”

Prakti India is our Engineering for People Design Challenge partner organisation for the academic year 2018-2019. To find out more about how we educate the engineers of tomorrow through our award-winning education programme, click here.

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