Background of CCAK
Exposure to harmful cookstove smoke has historically received relatively limited attention when compared to other health risk factors (lack of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene) or diseases (malaria or tuberculosis) that lead to similar levels of mortality. Part of the reason for this lack of investment is structural – barriers such as a lack of awareness among policy makers and affected populations about the harmful impacts of cookstove smoke and the corresponding benefits of cleaner stoves, a lack of affordable, improved solutions that meet users’ needs, and a lack of research to effectively quantify the health and environmental benefits of improved stoves and fuels.
Those at the “bottom of the pyramid” pay a heavy price for the environmental, social and health consequences of a life in poverty. By dramatically reducing exposure to harmful cooking smoke, clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels deliver a wide range of health, environmental, livelihood and gender benefits, while serving as a worthwhile investment that can rapidly offset the upfront costs.
In Kenya, it is estimated that Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) causes 14,300 deaths each year. This is much more than the national death toll arising from road accidents. 14.9 million people in Kenya are directly affected by IAP. The main groups include: households using open fires in built-in kitchens, female cooks, institutional cooks and kitchen helpers, as well as secondary school students (teenagers) who study with kerosene lamps. Of these, the household category constitutes about 67% of those affected by indoor air pollution in Kenya.