Smoke, health and household energy
Participatory methods for smoke alleviation technologies; Researching pathways to scaling up sustainable and effective kitchen smoke alleviation
More than two billion people cook using solid fuels – twigs, agricultural residues, dung, coal, etc – leading to over 1.6 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. (Figures: WHO, 2002)
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 (formerly 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 project is now in 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 enters this ‘scaling up’ phase, these early relationships are proving to be even more valuable.
This publication tells the story of how the project is working with communities and what it has achieved.
Annexes to Volume 1:
Annexes to Volume 2
- Annex 1 - Questionnaires
- Annex 2 - Market surveys
- Annex 3 - Cost benefit analysis
- Annex 4 - Project publications and presentations
All annexes in MS Word format, except where indicated.
Volume 1: Participatory methods for design, installation, monitoring and assessment of smoke alleviation technologies
Volume 2: Researching pathways to scaling up sustainable and effective kitchen smoke alleviation