| Boiling Point No. 02 - Special Edition April 1991 |
The message we are receiving from our contributors, as expressed in this special edition, is that the emphasis of stove programmes is changing. Many programmes now seem to recognize multiple objectives, including a bigger role for smoke removal along with savings in fuel and time as well as job creation.
Unfortunately, not all desirable objectives can be maximised in any one stove design which means compromises are inevitable if the stove is to be affordable Fifteen to twenty years ago it was believed cooking stoves in the third world were a major cause of deforestation. The World Hank. UN and many international aid agencies now accept that improved stoves do little to hall the rate of deforestation and so are reviewing the importance of other benefits, including better health.
Stove smoke seems likely to be an important contributor to Acute Respiratory Infection in children and chronic lung diseases in women. Both of these are important causes of ill health in the developing world. Indeed Acute Respiratory Infection kills nearly as many children as the chief cause of death in developing countries, diarrhoea. Improved stoves. chimneys, cowls, kitchens and higher grade fuels can reduce smoke and save lives.
Does the World Bank, which is seen to be the major funder, consider this to be less worth funding than a reduction in deforestation?