Sunday, 9 October 2011

Energy saving stoves for climate change reduction in Kenya

Wood , charcoal and Paraffin ( paraffin is fossil fuel) cookers are commonly used for domestic purposes in rural and urban areas of Kenya. Approximately 90 percent of the countries rural population use firewood for cooking on traditional open fire cookers. Inefficient charcoal and paraffin cookers are commonly used in the urban areas. Firewood wood and charcoal fuels don't com bust completely when burned inefficiency. Consequently toxic gases harmful to people and the environment are produced by inefficient firewood and charcoal cookers.The Gases produced by these cookers include carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. On a personal level the traditional stoves are unhealthy and labor-consuming. On a global level the cookers produce large amounts of green house gases. These toxic gases from such inefficient stoves destroy the ozone layer.The work of the ozone layer is to reduce the strength of the radiation or sun rays reaching the earth. Due to ozone layer destruction, the sun rays reach the earth with great strength causing excess increase of temperatures, excess evaporation from water bodies , excess transpiration or loss of water from plants and trees. The resulting moisture escapes into the space and after condensation falls as heavy destructive rains. The high temperatures have adverse effects on natural vegetation, agricultural production and human health.
Improved stoves in use
Lack of energy saving stoves is a major cause of mass tree felling across Africa, where every year incredible hectarages of trees are cleared to produce firewood and charcoal. The challenge therefore lies in introduction of energy saving stoves to replace traditional energy inefficient cookers,which are used by the rural and urban households in Kenya. The energy saving stoves will reduce the emission of harmful gases and minimize deforestation. This calls for a simple, affordable and locally produced energy saving stoves to ensure speedy adoption. The fuel saving technology will play a great role in preservation of vegetation and biodiversity in Africa. The energy efficient cookers are approximately 50% more efficient than an open fire. Reforestation is also necessary on a continuous basis in order to create sustainable sources of firewood.

 In addition to the saving on greenhouse gases emissions, energy efficient stoves economize on firewood, saves money , time used for fetching fire wood as well as improves family health.Therefore traditional open fire cookers are a health hazard. Due to incomplete combustion they  release tiny particles of matter into the air, which are so small that they are breathed in by people and animals. When inhaled, they get stuck in the respiratory tract, causing acute respiratory infection, increased hospital admissions for asthma and heart diseases.These  are some of the leading causes of illness in Kenya and Africa. Energy saving stoves is the way forward for developing countries in the fight against climate change in addition to saving on medical bills. Link-