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[NAIROBI] Urgent measures are needed to reduce exposure to smoke from traditional cooking and heating methods such as using solid fuels, which contribute to more than four million deaths a year globally, a conference has heard.

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC) organised the National Clean Cookstoves and Fuels Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, last week (4-7 February).

“Cooking is essential and should not kill,” says Radha Muthiah, the executive director of GACC.  “We need to form partnerships globally to ensure [the] provision of clean, affordable and accessible fuels.”

Muthiah adds that using clean, efficient and safe cookstoves can reduce fuel consumption and exposure to harmful smoke, provide economic opportunities for Kenyans and help reduce deforestation.

“Cooking is essential and should not kill.  We need to form partnerships globally to ensure [the] provision of clean, affordable and accessible fuels.”
 
Radha Muthiah, The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC)s

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 3 billion people globally are exposed to smoke resulting from traditional cooking and heating methods such as using firewood and leaky cookstoves.

Women and children are the most affected by the health problems associated with cookstove smoke, which contributes to more than 15,700 deaths in Kenya a year, says Muthiah, adding that 8,300 of the deaths occur in children mainly due to respiratory infections such as pneumonia attributed to smoke.

“Kenya could provide accessible, clean energy for at least 5 million citizens by the year 2020,” according to Muthiah. “This is our action plan’s vision and the ongoing market assessments and customer segmentations reveal that a significant number of Kenyans are willing to adopt clean cookstoves.”

Solomon Nzioka, an official from WHO country office in Kenya, says the WHO is concerned with the health impacts of indoor air

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