First some bad news: More than 3 billion people rely on traditional cookstoves for cooking in the developing world. Exposure to smoke from inefficient cookstoves and open-fire cooking practices contributes to the burden of pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases and results in an estimated two million deaths worldwide per year.
Now the good news: We plan to pilot a novel gasifying wood stove and fuel project in Kenya in the coming months. The stove emits little smoke, is durable and can be made at low cost with materials locally available in Kenya by Kenyan artisans thus creating jobs. Additionally we have selected mesquite, an invasive species in Kenya, to be used as the fuel source and therefore not impact indigenous forests through deforestation for wood fuel or charcoal-making. We anticipate our project will improve the health of families by reducing exposure to smoke, provide a lower cost fuel for cooking, and reduce the environmental impact caused by charcoal-making and the emissions from inefficient stoves.