10-05-2016, 01:59 PM
The Conversation, Evangelia Topriska - September 29, 2016 (Creative Commons License)
“Too much dirt,” says Justine about the difficulties of cooking with charcoal for her household of five. She’s a mother and market trader in the town of Sogakope in south-east Ghana, and referring to the soot that is produced because charcoal doesn’t burn completely. The reason she still uses it? “Cheap,” she shrugs.
Justine’s neighbour Janet is also complaining. She cooks with firewood but it produces too much smoke. It is a typical problem in a country where most cooking involves burning fuels like these. Women do most of the cooking and collect the fuel, and they are becoming more and more aware of the dangers of air pollution in the home.
As many as three billion people in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and South East Asia still primarily use fuels like these for cooking, and 4m die every year from indoor air pollution. It is the fourth highest cause of death after HIV/AIDS, lack of clean water and tuberculosis. That’s more than malaria, by the way.
Home on the range, Ghanaian style. Evangelia Topriska