02. Background to project

Statement of problem, and introduction to field sites

Global poverty & health

Globally, many people live in poverty, about 1.4 billion live on less than $1.25 a day in 2005 (World Bank 2009). A major cause of poor health in people, especially women is IAP from inhaling smoke from cooking fires made for cooking. Over a third of humanity, 2.4 billion people burn biomass for cooking and heating (Warwick & Doig 2004). Women and children are mainly responsible for cooking, as well as for collecting the wood, or other fuel used. According to the WHO, annually over 500,000 women and children die prematurely due to diseases linked with long term exposure to IAP (ARTI 2009).

Gender & fuel poverty

Women since they are responsible for providing food, and energy for cooking food to feed the family can be the ones who will be under threat from reducing fuel availability, and are the ones who would gain from having more energy efficient stoves. The amount of fuel which these stoves burn (in comparison with traditional open fires) is much smaller, since they are more efficient, which leaves the women with more time to do other household tasks, and to look for other income streams for the family.

Agricultural productivity

Many rural people in Asia rely on subsistence agriculture to provide food. These areas of land set aside for this are often farmed by the women, since it is the men who are more likely to be farming ‘cash crops’. Women produce 60 – 80% of food in developing countries (FAO 2009) so providing soil additives which can improve yield will benefit women in particular. Climate change is also a threat to subsistence farmers, and a threat which again will affect these rural areas. It is predicted that climate change will affect the poor and in particular the poor in South Asia (World Bank 2007). Recent reports in India also show a drop in agricultural productivity of 30-40%, so minimising this risk is one of the priorities for the area (World Bank 2007).

Potential solution? – introduction of stoves…

Many projects are introducing energy efficient stoves, but this is not always successful (more will be written on this issue shortly…) It is not always possible for these options to be taken up by all the target households. Some face barriers to entry to the scheme, and others are not willing to take up the opportunity since they feel it will not suit their needs. For example some features on the clean combustion stoves are different, and they may not appear as user friendly as traditional stoves. Other potential problems which prevent uptake include that stoves are designed to reduce smoke, which traditionally would be useful to reduce the amount of insects. Local solutions to this can be identified using local traditional knowledge of these problems where possible.

Fieldwork locations:

India (fieldwork to begin Aug 2010 – provisional date)

India has a HDI index of 0.6, which is 134 out of 182 countries (2007 figure). Health problems are also a problem in India, and life expectancy is 63.4 (which ranks 128 out of 176) Percentage of children under weight, under 5 years is 46% (137 out of 138 countries) (UNDP 2009).

ARTI has introduced gasification stoves (the Sampanda and the Ageni), over 100 of the Sampanda have been sold in semi-rural communities, through the company Samuchit Enviro-Tech Pvt Ltd. At present there is little deployment in more remote locations.

Cambodia (fieldwork in progress – from March 2010)

The HDI for Cambodia is 0.593, which gives the country a rank of 137th out of 182 countries with data (2007 figure). Life expectancy is 60.6 years (136 out of 176 countries). Percentage of children under weight, under 5 years is 36% (122 out of 138 countries) (UNDP 2009).

There is some work being carried out on stove improvement in Cambodia, GTZ and GERES have a presence in some areas. More on this to follow…


UNDP 2009

2 Responses to “02. Background to project”

  1. M. Nurhuda Says:

    Dear Madame/Sir

    Let me introduce myself. My name is Muhammad Nurhuda, I am a lecturing staff and researcher at Physics Department, Brawijaya University, Malang Indonesia.

    Recently, I have been developing a very efficient and clean combustion biomass stove. It can basically be used outdoor and indoor with suitable ventilation. This biomass stove, shall be called as UB-03 Biomass stove, will be mass produced. We start for mass production this week.
    At this stage, we will produce 400 units for this period.

    If you would like to see how good is our biomass stove, I will send you the video. Please let me know.

    I am looking forward for your response.

    Sincerely yours
    M. Nurhuda

  2. Sarah Carter Says:

    Thanks for the comment. I’ll be in touch to find out more about the stove. In this project we shall limit at least the practical side to the three stoves, TLUD, Anila and EverythingNice, but I’m interested in hearing about other stoves, and stove distribution projects (we have a short questionnaire designed for stove designers and project developers).

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