The project identified 50 potential local
manufacturers and provided them a seven-day
intensive training in the production of smoke
hoods. That was followed by on-the-job
mentorship to include skills in entrepreneurship and business management.
The trained manufacturers work in teams
of three to five people. Since the fabrication
of a smoke hood is relatively easy, the work-place can be set up wherever it is required,
and most have been set up close to the user
communities. The local cooperatives support
the manufacturers by providing temporary
space for the workshops.
It takes one full day for a skilled three-per-son team to manufacture and install a smoke
hood. The team receives around NPR 1,500
(US $17) per hood, which provides an income
of NPR 500 (US $6) per person per day, a
good income in rural Nepal. To diversify their
businesses, the manufacturers also produce
a variety of household items, including grain
storage bins and trunks.
A local quality control group, including
representatives of the local cooperative, users
and the local government, was formed in each
village to check on the end product. Warrantee
cards were issued by the manufacturers with
a free one-year maintenance service guarantee. Quality indicators of the product were
developed and efforts were made to standardize smoke hood design based on local needs.
Periodic monitoring of product quality and after
sales services were conducted by trained staff.
After installation of the smoke hoods for testing purposes, an acceptance study was carried
out through a team of consultants. Based on the
recommendations generated from that study,
further modifications were made to the design.
Following the initial technology testing
and acceptance study, the Healthy Hoods
project used a demand-based approach to
create a market for the optimized smoke
hoods technology, see Figure 2. Due to a
low awareness of the problem of IAP in the
local communities, that approach required
extensive time and effort.
The project launched awareness campaigns
to train approximately 25,000 people on
the danger posed by IAP and used FM radio
broadcasts and monthly meetings of cooperative members to disseminate IAP-related
information. It taught techniques for drying
wood fuel, reducing personal exposure to
smoke and the time spent for cooking, using
pot lids for cooking efficiency and adopting
better hygiene. The project disseminated educational materials on health and the economic
impacts of indoor smoke to 5,017 households
and trained 96 Female Community Health
Volunteers, 50 teachers, and 1,350 students
on the adverse health impacts of IAP. All of
this was done with the close cooperation of
local health service centers.
Monthly meetings were the most effective
approach in creating demand for smoke hoods.
Another successful approach was identify-
ing community leaders as early adopters and
convincing them to install smoke hoods at their
respective homes. This provided an opportunity
for the community to observe the benefits of
the new technology and that in turn triggered
an increased demand in the project areas.
Creating awareness of the problem wasn’t
the only means to build demand. A Healthy
Hood costs about NPR 6,000 (US $72)—a large
sum for a poor family to pay upfront. One
of the major goals of Healthy Hoods was to
establish sustainable financing so that the
project was not dependent on subsidies. A
revolving fund mechanism was organized by
nine local cooperatives in order to provide loans
to households for smoke hood installation. A
deposit of NPR 1,000 (US $12) per household
was required to order a smoke hood, with the
remaining NPR 5,000 (US $60) granted as loan
from the cooperative. The terms and conditions of the loan are very similar to a standard
loan system, with the exception of the interest
rate, which is 5 percent or less, compared to a
standard rate of 18 percent.
About 5,000 households have been
granted loans totaling NPR 4,003,200 (US
$46,185), and repayment rates are regular and
as per the guidelines provided by the project.
At the end of January 2013, approximately
NPR 588,800 (USD 6,795)— 14.71% of total
disbursed loan—of loans repayments had
been collected and the cooperatives were
successfully using the revolving fund for the
scaling-up of smoke hoods and other income
A total demand of 834 smoke hoods was
received during the two-year project period, not
including the 32 hoods installed for testing purposes, see Figure 3. At the start of the project,
installation of smoke hoods was slow, though
this increased dramatically at the midway stage,
but decreased towards the end of the project.
However, the local cooperatives continue to
receive further loan requests for the installation
of additional smoke hoods, with the number
expected to increase in the future.
INDOOR AIR POLLUTION MONITORING
To gauge the success of the smoke
hoods, the project needed to measure the
improvement in indoor air pollution after
FIG 2: Smoke hood design