BAIC aims to facilitate sustainable development for the poor and disadvantaged people. Rural women and men (about 75% of the 160 million) suffer most from Indoor Air Pollution (IAP). They live in congested thatched huts, with little ventilation and burn biomass/oil for light and energy. Women are doubly affected, they use biomass fuel, leaves, twigs, wastes for cooking in very small kitchen without windows. Food is cooked with gathered material full of dusts, germs and filth. Burning these produce many noxious gases, smoke and soot; and all these are inhaled for long hours every day. They invariably suffer from various ailments due to IAP. The NGO, BAIC, along with consultants from the local university are working to creating awareness about the dangers of IAP and possible remediation options. Many kitchens have been renovated. The efficiency of locally made cookers and types of fuels are also addressed. Local communities are encouraged to change their indoor environments.
Bangladesh: Women and the poor in rural and peri-urban areas; community and district levels.
Our Experience And Interest In The Four PCIA Central Focus Areas
The social and cultural barriers are formidable. People, especially women, often find it difficult to accept changes; they do not oppose but also do not easily adopt new methods. Repeated explanations, demonstrations and rewards are effective. The poor often do not have the ability to adopt new methods and need further help and support.
Markets are there but 'appropriate material' and improved marketing are rare. In energy efficiency improvement there is no serious effort for market development. Demonstration of the positive aspects of new goods are lacking; BAIC wants in near future to use market channel for improved 'indoor air' trying to get support.
There is no testing facility to demonstrate the severity of 'indoor air' quality in homes and kitchens. No standardization process is in place; the technology performance for and its routine adoption to measure IAP and technology for improved cooking and heating and improved ventilation need to be promoted and developed/introduced.
Very little data is now available about IAP: Demonstration of exposure and consequences are key to promoting clean indoor air; community based programs with monitoring mediated by a researcher/technical person is needed to raise awareness and motivate people to adopt measures that will lead to clean indoor environments. Infants, mothers and women are especially vulnerable.
Relevant Publications or Studies
There are papers published in journals on environment, indoor air pollution, micro-environment and health.
Our Contribution to the Partnership
BAIC will build communication channels, establish networks for information sharing; organize seminars and community-based activities for awareness building; and introduce 'clean energy' and healthy housing to reduce IAP. BAIC collaborates with researchers for information gathering, effective communication and participatory institution building - all are needed for sustainable mitigation. BAIC can provide leadership in this.