Recovery from rudimentary forms of cooking – special focus on household air pollution

Recovery from rudimentary forms of cooking – special focus on household air pollution

This story is part of a special feature by the Voice for Change Partnership and partner civil society organisations on Sustainable and Affordable Clean Energy, originally published in the Daily Nation (27 March 2020). Read stories from V4CP on Strengthening civil society capacity towards clean cooking solutions in Kenya, and from civil society partner GROOTS on Lack of clean cooking energy exposes women and children to increased risks in the midst of COVID-19.

Household Air Pollution (HAP) continues to be a global risk with annual deaths of 1.6 million revised down from 3.8 million. One of the leading sources of HAP is the use of solid fuels and kerosene in traditional and inefficient/simple stoves such as open fires in poorly ventilated rooms, which leads to the emission of large amounts of pollutants. Ensuring the adoption of clean cooking solutions contributes positively to more than ten Sustainable Development Goals as well as the national targets and the government BIG Four Agenda. These are linked to the economic support to the livelihoods, government and businesses, enhanced health status of the households through reduced indoor pollutions, and reduced forest degradation due to the less reliance on the forest cover for cooking, reduced carbon emissions, contributing to climate change mitigation.

The government of Kenya is scaling up its support to the clean cooking sector. To meet its commitment to provide access to clean cooking, the government has recently reduced the duties and taxes for clean cook stoves, raw materials, and their accessories as well as those on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to make clean cooking accessible. However, more needs to be done if the country is to achieve its goal of universal access to clean cooking by 2028. In order to make this a reality, the sector has to ensure strategic actions geared towards this commitment.

Nationally, clean cooking cuts across achievement of both Vision 2030, the Big Four agenda and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and has over time gained prominence and attracted investment into the country. The Ministry of Health estimates that HAP in Kenya claims 21,560 lives annually, translating to 57 people daily, where 50% happen to be children less than 5 years. This is more than five times the number of lives lost to traffic accidents yearly. Lower Respiratory infections such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis have been the greatest contributor to the HAP related deaths in Kenya. Overall, acute lower respiratory infections are considered the second largest cause of death and are linked to 26% of all deaths reported in hospitals in Kenya. Considering that more than two-thirds of Kenyan households rely on traditional biomass stoves for their primary cooking needs and that majority of them use the three-stone stove and the rest charcoal, the need for an urgent transition to cleaner cooking fuels cannot be overemphasized.

On Manufacturing, following the provision of tax incentives in 2016, the sector has seen increased investment in clean cooking through the establishment of two manufacturing industries in biomass cookstoves. A lot more jobs are created in the Juakali sector that manufacturers various biomass cookstoves, the most popular being the Kenya Ceramic Jiko, KCJ. On the ethanol value chain, various investments have sprung up promoting ethanol as an alternative modern cooking solution. This can be said also for the LPG fuel sector and biomass fuel sector which has huge potential for growth hence creating jobs and contributing to the economy.

The sector's contribution to environmental conservation is indispensable. It has significantly contributed to the achievement of Kenyan’s climate change goals. It is currently estimated that a household of 4 using charcoal or wood fuel contributes 1.2 tons of CO2 per year. The Improved Cook stove and Clean Fuel solutions have the largest potential for emission reduction with a projection of up to 5.6 MtCO2e by 2030 while Clean Fuel projected emissions reductions stand at 1.5 MtCO2e according to the Kenya Second National Communication, 2015. Mass adoption of clean cooking solutions will help Kenya meet its Nationally Determined Contribution goals.

Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK), a sector business membership association, has continuously advocated for the adoption of lifesaving clean cooking solutions. With a mandate to enhance an enabling environment for clean cooking solutions adoption.

Through the support of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, under the program Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP), CCAK has coordinated and co-convened platforms with the Ministry of Health on Household Air Pollution Manual and with the Ministry of Energy which co-chairs then Inter-ministerial Committee on Clean Cooking. The platform brings together line ministries to discuss cross-cutting clean cooking issues and ensure inclusive actions ministerial action plans.

Enabling access to affordable, clean, reliable and sustainable energy is crucial and calls for a multi-stakeholder approach to achieve both the national and global targets. CCAK continues to advocate for an enabling environment to catalyze private sector investments in the sector, capacity building and awareness of the sector at all levels to ensure affordable clean cooking for all.

The writer is CEO, Clean Cooking Association of Kenya

Mr. David Njugi

Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK) a private, not for profit, business membership organization that represents the interest of clean cooking stakeholders by advocating for an enabling environment at both national and county level to catalyze the growth of the clean cooking sector and promote adoption of clean cooking technologies, capacity building of the sector and sector coordination.

To learn more about the CCAK, please reach us on:

  • Address: P.O Box 41607-00100 Nairobi

  • Phone Number: +254707111669

  • Email: Info@ccak.or.ke

  • Facebook: CleancookingKe

  • Twitter: CleancookingKe

  • Instagram: Cleancookingke

  • LinkedIn: Clean Cooking Association of Kenya

  • YouTube: Clean Cooking Association of Kenya

  • Website: www.ccak.or.ke

This story was originally published in the Daily Nation.

This story was originally published in the Daily Nation.