Hygiene amounts to a bath once a month for the lucky villagers. The high altitude (10,000 + feet) means that the water is always cold. The lack of wood makes it difficult to heat the water. Many families have 16 or more members and do not have the ability to heat a sufficient volume of water for everyone to bath. At best, a bucket of water is heated to lukewarm once a month and the family gathers around to sponge off out of the same bucket. Sometimes the best they can manage is to heat up a bucket in the sun. This lack of regular bathing leads to numerous skin problems and basic hygiene issues.
We have designed a water heater that heats a quantity of water using the same fire that is used to cook. Coiled piping in the firebox of the stove heats water from an elevated container – the heating itself causes a natural circulation as hot water rises into the tank and cold water replaces it in the coils near the fire. A large quantity of water is heated at the same time as meals are prepared. No additional wood is needed. This allows for plenty of water to be heated for more frequent (not to mention more thorough and private) showers as well as additional uses for washing dishes and hands.