Nearly three billion people in the developing world cook their meals on primitive indoor stoves fueled by crop waste, wood, coal and dung. Every year, according to the United Nations, smoke from these stoves kills 1.9 million people, mostly women and children, from lung and heart diseases and low birth weight.
The stoves also contribute to global warming as a result of the millions of tons of soot they spew into the atmosphere and the deforestation caused by cutting down trees to fuel them.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is to announce a significant commitment to a group working to address the problem, with a goal of providing 100 million clean-burning stoves to villages in Africa, Asia and South America by 2020. The United States is providing about $50 million in seed money over five years for the project, known as the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves…
Mrs. Clinton called the problem of indoor pollution from primitive cookstoves a “cross-cutting issue” that affects health, the environment and women’s status in much of the world. “That’s what makes it such a good subject for a coordinated approach of governments, aid organizations and the private sector,” she said in a telephone interview…
Although the toxic smoke from the primitive stoves is one of the leading environmental causes of death and disease, and perhaps the second biggest contributor to global warming, after the industrial use of fossil fuels, it has long been neglected by governments and private aid organizations.
RTFA. Simple solutions to an essential problem. Probably way too reasonable for most beancounters and politicians to support.
I picked the video up top that is one of the first widely distributed about a charity answering this need – excerpted from a documentary about one of my favorite footballers, Shaun Wright-Phillips. He spends his summer off working in Guatemala installing alternative stoves.