The project was supported by CGIAR’s program on Water, Land and Ecosystems under the sustaining rural-urban linkages flagship, Urban Food Plus, and the International Water Management Institute and World Agroforestry Centre.

“When most people think about energy, they think of electricity,” said Mendum. “For home cooks, however, many other sources of thermal energy are preferable. This would include natural gas and propane in some regions and wood fuels such as firewood and charcoal in others.”

In sub-Saharan Africa, cooking with wood over an open fire, particularly inside homes without chimneys, can be especially detrimental to women and girls, who are primarily responsible for meal preparation. Indoor smoke places cooks at higher risk for respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, lung cancer and asthma.


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