Practical Action demonstrates and advocates the sustainable use of technology to reduce poverty in developing countries. Currently, Practical Action is supporting scaling-up of successful indoor smoke alleviating technologies through awareness creation, revolving funds, marketing strategies, policy advocacy, and pollution and health monitoring. Practical Action East Africa plans to help 3,000 households in one district achieve improved health through improved indoor air quality and effective household-based interventions by 2011. It will also stimulate market demand, create awareness and support the growth of entrepreneurs and local production. Practical Action East Africa is also piloting the use of the CleanCook ethanol stove in an urban setting in Kenya, as well as developing a new urban biomass domestic cookstove as a means to reducing environmental degradation arising from inefficient charcoal production and use.
Practical seeks to increase public knowledge & understanding of the dangers of smoke on health and poor use of fuel on the environment to 30,000 households; to increase the availability of interventions; to strengthen local capacity and market access for interventions; to test for fuel use, fuel purchasing and time saved reductions; and to address a nationwide policy agenda for indoor air pollution. Practical Action East Africa is now piloting a new domestic stove and fuel in urban Kenya, targeting households with new technologies that reduce indoor air pollution and provide access to sustainable and efficient household fuels.
Our Experience And Interest In The Four PCIA Central Focus Areas
Social/Cultural barriers to using traditional fuels and stoves: we are constantly innovating technologies using participatory technology development to address local barriers to use.
Market development for improved cooking technologies: we are using local systems, such as community based stove installers who we have trained and use the stove installation as a source of extra income, thus decentralizing market systems in order to meet community needs where these needs are expressed - at the household levels. We are also testing the market again with new stove and fuel technologies to stimulate the demand for innovative and effective technologies.
Technology standardization: we have worked with the national standards bureau to develop and establish national domestic biomass cookstove standards and continue the engagement with new products that have been proven to be effective. We have also established minimum effective interventions - a combination of fuel and ventilation technologies whose use effectively reduce exposure for cooks in the kitchen.
Indoor air pollution exposure and health monitoring: we have been leaders in the area of monitoring for pollutants using our globally approved benchmark protocols, which have been accepted by the WHO.
Relevant Publications or Studies
Engaging communities in alleviating smoke – what the real experts tell you: http://www.hedon.info/docs/BP57
Smoke, health and household energy
Volume 1&2: Participatory methods for design, installation, monitoring and assessment of smoke alleviation technologies
Our Contribution to the Partnership
We would like to participate in the film section, prepare a paper on meeting community needs and share experiences in engaging communities. We also have a poster presentation.