Harmful Affects of Cooking in Africa

Harmful Affects of Cooking in Africa

By: Matt Peraza


Imagine if you live in a third world country with no energy and you have to rely on solid fuels for your energy needs. How would you feel if the only way to cook a meal had deadly consequences?

Most countries living in energy poverty also live in other poverty as well and rely on their scarcity of resources. Sub-Saharan African countries such as Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe mostly depend on charcoal for their cooking fuel. Woman and children spend countless hours a day in their dwellings under harmful conditions. Solid fuels cause air pollution that cause immediate impacts to billions. Cook stoves that are being used in these countries release large amounts of air pollution that contribute to early deaths, estimated around 4 billion a year. These cook stoves also affect air quality and climate across the globe.

Many different organizations are trying to solve for the energy poverty problem in these countries but it will take many different kinds of disciplines to do so. One such organization is the Energy Poverty PIR inSouthern Africa (EPPSA).  The research of this organization is focused on technology for cooking and heating that are clean, efficient and feasible. They measure the technology impact on the people, environment and on their health. A problem that occurs is large scale how to get the majority to use this technology, how to get it to them and how to make it feasible in their country. This direction to help will take time and man power to make a bigger impact in the future. More researches and educators are needed to help solve these problems. Along with finding solutions the EPPSA trains the next generation of researches to help expand this process for years to come.