With more than two billion people cooking with solid fuels such as twigs, agricultural residues, dung, coal, etc., the WHO estimated that over 1.6million people were dying as a direct result of indoor air pollution. The technology used to burn these fuels - three-stone fires or rudimentary stoves - resulted in poor combustion efficiency and high levels of indoor air pollution: primarily respirable particulates (considered to be the most dangerous pollutant) and carbon monoxide.
This Final Technical Report describes a DFID-funded research project carried out by ITDG in three very different communities: a peri-urban district in Kenya; a village community in a high cold region in Nepal; and a community of displaced persons around Kassala in Sudan. The purpose of the 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. Interventions, in this context, mean any activities or technologies introduced by the project to alleviate smoke.
With a ‘technology-neutral’ starting point, the project worked with communities to identify, install and monitor sustainable interventions 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. Further research is currently under way on the smoke hoods, which were not so successful in Nepal as in the earlier studies in Kenya. In Sudan, LPG stoves were universally adopted, and the project has led to nearly 1000 households adopting this cleaner fuel.
Monitoring has been a major part of the work, to ensure that what is being promoted is having a positive effect. Smoke reduction has been the key factor for the project team, but it has been found that increased prestige and confidence, and time and cost savings have been reported as important by households involved in the project.
Three Annexes to the report are also attached here, the questionnaires used for: supervisor and fieldworker training objectives; supervisors’ data collection on air pollution and exposure; and householders’ data on smoke, health and household energy.
Bates, L. Smoke, health and household energy. Volume 1: Participatory methods for design, installation, monitoring and assessment of smoke alleviation technologies. Final Technical Report. (2005)