by Alexia Johnston
Stoves and chimneys will soon be added to some Nepalese homes by a group of New Zealanders, made up mainly of South Canterbury residents.
Twelve skilled workers from Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury and the North Island will travel to Damar at the end of March to install the stoves and chimneys in about eight neighbouring villages.
The project, estimated to cost up to $15,000, was being made possible through the Forgotten Sherpas of Nepal Trust, which was set up in support of what started out as a Geraldine Tramping Club humanitarian project in 2010. Members initially installed solar lighting throughout homes in Damar and have since provided support in a range of other ways, including a water scheme, health care and education.
Next on the trust’s bucket list was the installation of the stoves and chimneys, which would go to those who had requested them. Recipients would pay for a small percentage of the cost, while the rest would be covered by the trust.
Trust member Tim Shewan, of Timaru, will join the group this time. He first took part in 2010 and was looking forward to the next instalment, which could add 110 stoves and chimneys to homes in the villages. Those villages were one to three hours’ walking distance from the group’s base in Damar.
“It’s just a fire in a concrete slab [and] chimneys will be added so the smoke goes outside instead of circulating inside the home,” Mr Shewan said.
The wood-burning stoves were being made in Kathmandu. They would be trucked as close to Damar as possible and carried the rest of the way which, on average, was a day’s walk.
Trust members have partnered with My Travel Broker and international tour guide Jill Worrall, whom they would continue to work with over the coming years in preparation for a tour they were establishing together in April 2019, Mr Shewan said.
The group will leave on March 31, with the aim of completing the project over two and a half weeks.
To find out more visit: www.forgottensherpas.org