E-cooker Network for Urban Slums: benefits and barriers to Implementation



An image of an open fire

The densely populated Dhaka slums suffer significantly from air pollution, and adverse health effects

The densely populated Dhaka slums suffer significantly from air pollution and adverse health effects due to biomass burning cooking within the alleyways of packed tin-housing.

In addition to pollution, this also results in immense heat, making living conditions in an already hot climate even more unbearable. Gas cookers (3000-taka capital cost and 1000 taka per month on gas) are present for some shop owners and more affluent dwellers, while electric cookers are non-existent. There is a grid line connection into the slums tapped illegally by opportunists who charge extortionately based on the number of electrical appliances within each dwelling. The aim is to offer energy independence while tackling air pollution by delivering E-cooking solutions powered by solar PV systems as an alternative to biomass cookstoves. This project that will run from1 May 2020 to 28 February 2022 will provide a functioning pilot network to learn how these systems work.

Basic block diagramme

Basic block diagramme for the low-cost grid tied solar PV connection to the household cooking

Objectives of this project are:

  • Design system of 60 e-cookers on a PV network integrated with National Grid.

  • Run pilot network

  • Distribute system across diverse socio-cultural and socio-economic backgrounds

  • Introduce community Hub leader-based dissemination strategy- training (use of cooking equipment, and teaching others)

  • Semi-structured interviews/Cooking Diaries and workshops with all network users to build understanding on the level of adoption and potential barriers.

  • Undertake respiratory health survey of slum community for both the e-cooker network and that of a control group that continues to use wood-stove cooking.

  • Monitor smoke-particulates using smart device & data logger and within households of the e-cooking network and the control group throughout the pilot phase & analyses the difference.

  • Conduct respiratory health survey in the community & analysis the impact.

  • Analysis of health data, and links to COPD and COVID-19

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