Clean Cooking

Energy use is central to human activity for a range of household tasks, including cooking, boiling water, lighting and warming homes. Nearly half the world's population still rely on burning solid fuels for essential household activities.

Women and children from developing countries, who spend most of their time at home, are at a high risk of exposure to household smoke. Pregnant women are particularly at risk. Carbon monoxide reduces oxygen delivery to key organs of the developing fetus, impacting on the brain formation, the cardiovascular system, heart, lungs etc. Young children especially before they can walk are highly exposed to harmful pollutants as they spend most of their time with (or close to) their mothers. Also, the impact of exposure to any air pollutant is usually greater than for an adult since:

They inhale more pollutants per kilogram of body weight than adults.

Exposure increases the risk of infections.

Their airways are narrower, and irritation can result in proportionately greater airway obstruction.

Healthy cooking starts with the stove. Cleaner, safer and more efficient stoves can improve the livelihoods of poor households in a myriad of ways. Improved stoves can bring a range of benefits. They can reduce smoke inhalation, some quite substantially, and in a few studies - for example in China and Guatemala - stoves have been shown to result in useful health benefits. Where fuel is collected, the time saved from less fuel gathering can be translated into multiple activities that women can do at home and for their families. Where fuel is purchased, there are savings from reduced consumption which can be used for beneficial purposes. Cookstove projects can also benefit men, provide employment opportunities for both women and men in making and selling new stoves, and contribute to technology transfer.

Factors influencing the uptake of improved solid fuel stoves

Fuel and technology characteristics( Design to meet users needs)
A.Ability to cook main dishes and to use traditional pots, Safe technology, easy to use, easy to clean and durable.

B. Fuel and costs savings from less fuel gathering and/or fuel purchasing due to higher stove efficiency.

C. Time savings for faster cooking speed or less fuel gathering for collectors

Household and setting characteristics

A. Household characteristics impacting on adoption include: Socio-economic status
Demographics House ownership and structure.

B. Multiple stove and fuel use may favour adoption of a new stove or cleaner fuel but also may impair its exclusive use.

C. Geography and climate: cold and rainy settings require appropriate stove technologies.

Knowledge and perceptions.

A. Stove should provide smoke reduction with consequent Health benefits, Cleaner home environment.

B. Ability to prepare main dishes to the same taste.

C. Aesthetic / design appeal.

D. Social influence: success with early adopters.

Financial, tax and subsidy aspects

A. Initial stove cost is often a barrier: financial solutions may help consumers and increase demand.

B. Payments modalities such as instalments, loans or microcredit facilitate adoption.

C. Adequate upfront capital and financial support (.e.g loans) for setting up stove businesses is critical.

Market development

A. Demand is influenced by marketing strategies and social networks: live demonstration and success with early adopters are usually the most effective ways.

B. Functional and efficient supply chains for stove and stove components are critical for scale up.

C. Business development can be achieved through multiple approaches(e.g. marketing multiple products, having different prices, identifying appropriate distribution channels, etc).

Regulation, legislation and standards

A. Certification of stoves can help ensure adherence to design specifications for fuel efficiency and emissions.

B. Stove labels have been successfully used to guarantee construction standards.

C. Enforcement of standards can be achieved through mechanisms such as procurement of materials from designated suppliers, exclusive use of accredited manufacturers and penalties incase of non-compliance with standards.

Programmatic and policy mechanisms

A. Co-ordination and regular interaction required between key stakeholders.

B. Community involvement (in particular women) for the identification of suitable stove designs and promotional campaigns.

C. Ensure high-quality stove construction and installation.

D. Provide hands-on-training to consumers.

E. Ensure post-acquisition support for maintenance and repair.

F. Plan for monitoring and evaluation.