From the Greek meaning 'heavy with wine'
A blog devoted to science and reason
Written after a glass or two of Pinot Noir.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Physics Helps Reduce Violence Against Women

More than 300,00 people in Darfur have been killed, and more than 2 million have fled their homes to live in huge refugee camps. Although they receive food aid, ones pressing problem remaining is cooking their food.

As described by Cookstove Projects
Due to the size of the IDP camps (some camps have more than 100,000 residents) and the desert-like terrain, wood is increasingly scarce. With deforestation, displaced women must walk up to seven hours to find a single tree, risking assault every step of the way. To avoid danger, some Darfuri women purchase wood from vendors... by selling the very food they need to feed their families. While the tangle of political and ethnic tensions underlying the Darfur conflict may seem beyond resolution, the solution to this one problem is clear: women in Darfur need a better stove.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory physicist Ashok Gadgil and other LBNL scientists went to Darfur in 2005 to see the situation for themselves. As Dr. Gadgil says, “In terms of the physics end of it, of course you want high combustion efficiency, where you’re not left with charcoal and smoke, which is where some of the chemical energy could go,  and you want good heat transfer efficiency, so you’re not just heating the kitchen air but putting the heat into the pot.”

Just this past May, the US Agency for International Development awarded $1.5 million so that these stoves can be distributed in Darfur and Ethiopia.

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