"Getting A Silent Killer Out Of The Kitchen"

"In Sierra Leone, 99 percent of the population still uses polluting cooking methods."

"FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — For years, Hawa Augusta Kamah, a cook at a private school here, spent hours every week in a cramped open-air kitchen toiling over large charcoal-burning stoves preparing food for 600 students. With every breath, she inhaled smoke and ignored the uncomfortable feeling in her chest that would grow more intense the longer she was exposed to the heat emanating from the stoves.

But, she said, everything changed about two years ago when the school swapped out the old stoves for models designed to cook more cleanly.

“This one is better,” Kamah, 45, said on a sweltering day in February. It was just after 9 a.m., and the new stoves were already fired up, steam rising from each of the massive silver pots on top.

These stoves are part of a decades-long global movement to displace open-fire cooking and uninsulated stoves, which can be significant sources of climate-warming emissions and hazardous indoor air pollution. The replacements, insulated metal contraptions, are designed to be better at containing heat and can cook food more quickly. While they’re not as clean as gas or electric appliances, they’re meant to be an improvement for people who rely on burning solid fuel, such as wood, charcoal or other forms of biomass."

Allyson Chiu reports for the Washington Post May 12, 2023.

Source: Washington Post, 05/15/2023