Much work has been done to reduce the smoke from cooking through the use of improved cookstoves and EnSo fully supports the great work of Burn and other stove providers. Despite these efforts, the poor air quality of many kitchens in rural Kenya continues to damage the health of women and children and is thought to contribute to around 17,000 premature deaths per year – with many more people affected with serious respiratory problems. Globally it is estimated that more than 1.6 million people per year die due to indoor air pollution. Kitchens may also be poorly lit, increasing the risk of accidents or burns.
With support from Innovate UK, EnSo is working with Mwangaza Light to install up to 50 prototype units in rural kitchens in central Kenya.
The extractor units are designed to be robust and affordable, with additional useful features including mobile-phone charging and LED lighting. Each unit can be powered by its own solar panel – and has a battery for 24-hour operation, alternatively the modules can be added to existing solar home systems.
EnSo is conducting extensive field trials and action research prior to the next phase of larger-scale implementation.