Clean Cookstove: an initiative for better tomorrow
Nearly three billion people around the world burn wood, charcoal, animal dung, or coal in open fires or in inefficient stoves for daily cooking and heating. This reliance on inefficient cookstoves and fuels leads to a wide variety of environmental problems, including deforestation, air pollution, and climate change. In sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, the lack of access to clean cookstoves and fuels for cooking and heating is especially acute, with a third of the urban population and the vast majority of the rural poor using solid fuels to cook their daily meals over open fires or inefficient stoves made from clay, metal, or bricks.
“The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership hosted by the UN Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.” This initiative was launched in September 2010 by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In these six years, the Alliance has distributed more than 53 million clean, efficient cookstoves and fuels. The proportion of higher-performing cookstoves in the biomass stoves market is increasing every year across the Globe. They are currently focusing on eight countries: Bangladesh, China, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda.
Statistics of India
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is engaged with the Government of India through the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy and the Ministry of Health, partners, and associated enterprises to catalyze a market for improved cookstoves and chulhas to reach 5 million households by 2017.
According to the study conducted by World Health OrganizationWHO, 64% of the population in India uses solid fuels for everyday cooking their meals. Household air pollution (HAP) is a significant public health, environmental, gender, and livelihoods issue in the country— 25% of the 4.3 million global premature HAP deaths occur in India every year, according to WHO estimates, and more than 800 million people are impacted by exposure to HAP in the country.
Cooking and heating with solid fuels on open fires or traditional stoves results in high levels of household air pollution. Indoor smoke contains a range of health-damaging pollutants, such as small particles and carbon monoxide, and particulate pollution levels may be 20 times higher than accepted guideline values. There is consistent evidence that exposure to household air pollution can lead to acute lower respiratory infections in children under five, and ischaemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer in adults. In 2012, household air pollution was responsible for 7.7% of the global mortality.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is an exemplary initiative taken by the organization, its partners and the government of various countries. There are few celebrities endorsing this project, and India’s famous chef Sanjeev Kapoor is also part of the initiative. It will contribute enormously to improve the health of females and children in the households. Considering the fact, people who are benefiting from it do not even see or understand that it is a health issue, it just means that cooking and heating activity would become easy for them. This initiative is contributing towards significant change for tomorrow in the lives rural population.