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Rotary completes $45,000 EcoStoves project

A Honduran villager works on an EcoStove chimney. Rotary Club of Madison has completed a two-year project for $45,000 to install EcoStoves in Honduras. CONTRIBUTED
A Honduran villager works on an EcoStove chimney. Rotary Club of Madison has completed a two-year project for $45,000 to install EcoStoves in Honduras. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Rotary Club of Madison has successfully completed a two-year humanitarian project to install EcoStoves in villagers’ homes in Honduras.

“EcoStoves are efficient, clean-burning and well-vented stoves that replace open fire, unvented stoves common throughout Honduras,” Rotary president Eugene Pfeiffer said.

For the project, Rotary Club of Madison entered a partnership with Club Rotario De Choluteca (a Rotary Club in southern Honduras), a local project coordinator and several village leaders to finish the work. Villagers around San Marcos de Colon, Honduras received the EcoStoves.

EcoStoves were installed in 510 homes in eight villages and benefited more than 2,300 residents. Twelve percent of these residents are younger than five years old.

The $45,000 grant has “half funded by two Rotary clubs and Rotary District 6860 in North Alabama. The other half came in matching funds from The Rotary Foundation,” Destin Klein, international director for Madison, said.

The grant’s objective was improvement of “maternal and child health, one of five areas of focus that qualify for grants from Rotary International through The Rotary Foundation,” Klein said. “The Rotary Foundation has strict guidelines that we had to follow in order to qualify for the Global Grant.”

The EcoStove project launched in June 2013. With the last increment of funds, Rotarians purchased spare parts for the stoves in Honduran villages.

“Medical services are less than adequate in the area, so our greatest challenge was to assess the health impact on communities that received EcoStoves,” Klein said. “Fortunately, the Choluteca Club helped us form a partnership with the Office of the Health Secretary of Honduras. They provided respiratory health data before and after the project.”

Results indicate that EcoStoves have positively impacted incidences of asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia. “More importantly, we have a source for future data so that we can track long-term impact,” Klein said.

Rotarians tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in 200-plus countries.

For more information, visit Rotary.org.

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