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Clean Air and Cooking: Making the Connection in India and Uganda
Household air pollution is estimated to kill 3.9 million people annually, making exposure to it one of the top three risk factors for death and illness worldwide. One way to address the problem is to promote the purchase and correct use of lower-emission cookstoves in developing countries.
However, increasing adoption of these improved cookstoves has proven challenging, partly due to the many behavior changes required to switch from using an open fire to correctly using an improved cookstove. For example, some stoves require that users chop their wood into small pieces, batch-load the stoves instead of gradually adding wood as needed, and ensure that the wood is very dry. Stove technologies must also meet personal and cultural cooking preferences, and must have sufficient community support.
TRAction partners have been working in India and Uganda, studying cooking preferences and traditions in rural and peri-urban settings and learning how to overcome these challenges through behavior change strategies.
On May 7, 2014, TRAction and WASHplus co-hosted a webinar on lessons learned from these studies. The webinar highlighted findings on successful and unsuccessful behavior change approaches for increasing adoption of improved cookstoves, how the lessons can be used to enhance the uptake of clean stoves, and next steps needed to broaden and further our understanding of behavior change in the clean cooking sector.