Smoke, health and household energy
Please note that this is historical research conducted by Practical Action and partners in 2005. While the methodologies and conclusions may remain of value, it does not necessarily reflect the current situation. Please refer to our main pages on indoor air pollution for more recent research.
Volume 1: Participatory methods for design, installation, monitoring and assessment of smoke alleviation technologies
More than three billion people cook using solid fuels - twigs, agricultural residues, dung, coal, etc - leading to over 4 million people dying as a direct result of indoor air pollution. The technology to burn these fuels - three-stone fires or rudimentary stoves - results in poor combustion efficiency and high levels of indoor air pollution (IAP). Respirable particulates - small particles of smoke which get into the lungs - are considered to be the most dangerous pollutant, and carbon monoxide is another known hazard.
The purpose of this research project is to support large numbers of people living in poverty, especially women and children, to reduce the major health risks caused by smoke from kitchen fires, through awareness of the dangers of smoke and interventions to alleviate it.
This publication describes a UK-Government funded research project done by Practical Action (under its former name of ITDG) in three very different communities under a Department for International Development (DFID) research grant. Practical Action has developed a framework to strengthen those living in poverty to work together, participating in all levels of the decision making process and leading to a sound redistribution and management of resources. Women in particular are supported through this approach. The project has worked with around 30 households in each country, comprising:
a peri-urban district in Kenya
a village community in a high cold region in Nepal
a community of displaced persons around Kassala in Sudan.
The project worked with communities to identify, install and monitor sustainable technologies to alleviate smoke. This led to very different solutions in each country. In Kenya, a wide spectrum of options from very low cost 'fireless cookers' to metal smoke hoods was adopted. In Nepal, space heating is needed, and insulation, improved stoves and smoke hoods have been researched. In Sudan, LPG stoves were universally adopted, and the project has led to nearly 1000 households adopting this cleaner fuel.
The then entered a second phase, developing the interventions that have proved popular but have not shown the levels of smoke reduction required, and scaling up those that have been successful through commercial routes. Partnerships and collaboration have been vital to the project, and as the work entered this 'scaling up' phase, these early relationships proved to be even more valuable.
This publication tells the story of how the project is working with communities and what it has achieved.
Smoke, health and household energy, volume 1: participatory methods for design, installation, monitoring and assessment of smoke
This publication describes a research project done by Practical Action in three very different communities in Nepal, Sudan and Kenya, and how it has supported large numbers of people living in poverty, especially women and children, to reduce the major health risks caused by smoke from kitchen fires, through awareness of the dangers of smoke and interventions to alleviate it.
Annexes to the publication:
All annexes in MS Word format, except where indicated.
Smoke, health and household energy 2: researching pathways to scaling up sustainable and effective kitchen smoke alleviation
Following the original research in Nepal, Sudan and Kenya, this second phase of research aimed to reduce child mortality by reducing carbon monoxide. To make substantial inroads on ill-health, this study needed to ensure that indoor air pollution was reduced, identify and overcome the barriers that prevent people being able to alleviate the kitchen smoke in their homes.