• Saturday, 22 June 2024
Kenyans with low incomes will benefit from a clean energy cooking initiative.

Kenyans with low incomes will benefit from a clean energy cooking initiative.

Kenyans who cook with kerosene, wood, or charcoal stand to benefit from a clean energy initiative.

A team of international researchers from the University of Liverpool has begun a countrywide rollout of access to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which is intended to be used for cooking by low-income households.

This follows a previous project that ran from 2018 to 2022 and demonstrated significant health and gender equity gains through the use of LPG for cooking.

The project had significant environmental benefits because it encouraged less deforestation and pollution from solid fuel combustion.

The team received more than Sh1 billion to rapidly expand sustainable energy access throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, in order to promote gender equality, better health, and climate change mitigation.

The study will be co-directed by researchers from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) and other collaborators from Kenya, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda.

CLEAN-Air (Africa), a five-year program, will address barriers to the adoption of clean modern fuels for resource-poor households.

This follows previous research by the University of Liverpool, which found that household air pollution caused by the use of these fuels is one of the leading risk factors for disease worldwide, causing over two million premature deaths each year.

"We now plan to reach 130,000 community health workers to complete the training under Kenya's Universal Health Coverage," said Dr. James Mwitari, a senior research fellow based at Kemri and co-Director for CLEAN-Air (Africa).

"The potential for community-level primary and secondary prevention of household air pollution-related disease is significant, and we have already seen examples of lives saved as a result of this education," he added.

Furthermore, the funds will be used to establish an air pollution excellence center at Kemri, which will house cutting-edge training facilities and air monitoring technology.

Academics and organizations from the public and private sectors in Kenya and across Africa will use the center to conduct research and monitor air quality.

According to a previous study by the Radiological Society of North America, people who cook with wood run the risk of seriously damaging their lungs by breathing in unsafe amounts of pollutants and bacterial toxins (RSNA).

Despite ongoing efforts to encourage people to use clean energy sources such as LPG, the campaign has been hampered by poverty, a reluctance to break old habits, and a lack of understanding about how such fuels affect lung health.

With national goals to scale clean cooking under SDG7, the CLEAN-Air (Africa) Unit will expand its program beyond Cameroon and Kenya to include Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda.

The Unit will build on the success of CLEAN-Air (Africacounty-levelcommunity )'s air pollution prevention initiative, which was implemented across Kenya's 47 counties.

The Lung Institute, the Rwanda Biomedical Center, the University of Dar es Salaam, Makerere University, Moi University, the Eagle Research Center, and the Douala General Hospital in Cameroon are among the other research partners.

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