Until a few years ago, in many simple mud houses in Nepal, cooking was done on an open fireplace in the house. This meant acrid smoke, watery eyes and health problems. Over time, Little Stars has replaced these open fireplaces with smokeless ovens in more than 500 households, thus providing a better quality of life, especially for the children. At least the wood could burn efficiently and smoke-free.

Due to the change in construction of the new earthquake-proof houses after the earthquake in 2015, the need for these simple smokeless ovens has gradually come to a standstill. Cooking is increasingly done in an outdoor shelter next to the new house or gas cookers are used.

At the end of 2022, we built several biogas plants in a pilot project. Biogas produces significantly less CO2, so it is much more environmentally friendly.

The basic prerequisite for the construction of a 4, 6 or 8 cubic metre plant is that the family needs a proper toilet and has at least one ox or cow in the stable. Then the excrements from humans and animals together are sufficient for a functioning biogas plant for daily cooking for a family of 4 to 6 people.

In almost all parts of Nepal – and especially in the Terai – it is strictly forbidden under penalty of law to fetch wood from the forest for the fireplace. So “fetching wood” always happens illegally, is mostly done at night by children and is also dangerous. Especially around Balchaur, people die every year when they are attacked by tigers in the forest at night.

With a biogas plant, dangerous gathering of wood is no longer necessary and the air around the fireplace is smoke-free. No soot, no smoke, no coughing. The children’s respiratory system takes on a whole new quality. Deforestation is avoided and the CO2 balance of the entire region changes considerably for the better.