SCORE stove success at Kathmandu University | Source: Practical Action | Sept 25, 2012
by Teo Sanchez – Today I had the privilege of receiving an email from a very excited University Professor at Kathmandu University in Nepal, Professor Bim Prasad Shrestha, regarding the start of the SCORE stove in their Laboratory.
Prof. Shrestha told me:
“It has been great day for us yesterday, we managed to get resonance in our system and we could make electricity generated from the stove which was first installed by the EWB and the modified by our Engineers….
It has been great moment for our engineers Mr. Bijendra and Mr. Binaya for successfully lighting the LED bulb with the help of wood fired stove and boiling water on the stove simultaneously.”
You don’t often see such excitement in a senior academic in a developing country about a technology for the poor, simply because they are seldom involved in the development of technology to help the poor.
University academics in developing countries generally know very well the problems of the local poor but are powerless to help them. This isn’t because they can’t help or don’t want to, but mainly because they operate under a permanent situation of shortage of facilities and budget. They are able only to witness the suffering of their poorest co-citizens.
The special feature of the SCORE stove is that it can both cook and generate electricity. It is under development by a consortium of UK Universities and Practical Action. The University of Kathmandu and research institutions in Bangladesh have become involved in the final phase of development and adaptation of this technology to local needs.
Kathmandu University, with the support of a group of young graduates from Nottingham University, installed a SCORE stove in their Laboratory. After several days of work to adapt to local fuels and operating conditions, they managed for the first time to see it operating both to cook and generate electricity.
Successes like this do not happen frequently in universities in developing countries. I know, because I was previously a lecturer at a University in Peru. So I share the excitement. I want to congratulate Professor Shrestha and wish him more success in the future. Partnerships like this, with the active involvement of academics and non-academics from north and south, with effective exchange of knowledge and know-how contribute not only to excitement but to real solutions to help the poor to use technology to challenge their poverty.