Community-wide behavior change and clean fuel interventions in some homes to maximize cleaner cooking and to achieve modest indoor and outdoor air quality in Panchkhal and Mandandeupur municipalities, Nepal
In Nepal, traditional energy sources such as wood, dung, and plant residues supply most of the household energy requirement. Studies conducted to find the household air pollution (HAP) have reported high levels of particulate matters (PM2.5), Carbon monoxide (CO), and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the kitchen that use traditional fuels. The reported domestic CO and PM2.5 levels far exceed the national indoor air quality standards (24-HR PM2.5: 60 µg/m3) and the WHO health-based guideline values (PM2.5: 25 µg/m3; CO: <7 ppm.). As most homes use traditional fuel, the HAP is the chief cause of ill-health and the third leading cause of death in the country. The few studies conducted in Nepal have shown that use of LPG or electricity can deliver a meaningful reduction in kitchen level PM2.5 and CO. However, to experience or demonstrate the real environmental and health benefits of the usage of clean cooking fuel in the kitchen, the community-wide adoption and exclusive use of such are needed because traditional fuel smoke can easily penetrate from neighbor’s homes and increase the degree of smoke inside. Building on the ongoing longitudinal health study (Nepal PEER health study), which is examining the effectiveness of biogas in child pneumonia in Kavre district, we seek to demonstrate the improvement in outdoor and indoor air quality and cook’s health by conducting a behavior change activities and intervention of LPG or electric cookstoves in few homes including PEER health study participants home in one of the clusters of Panchkhal and Mandandeupur municipalities in Kavre. The other goals of this project are: to understand the household energy need and use in (all) homes in the study area; to identify local enablers and barriers of large scale uptake, adoption and sustained use of clean fuel (Biogas, LPG, Electricity); to determine potential strategies to overcome the barriers of adoption and continued use of clean fuel; to identify the most appropriate cleaner fuel interventions, and the best means to encourage exclusive use of clean fuel to achieve the modest indoor and outdoor air quality in the study area. This research also seeks to provide pilot data for future interventions aimed at promoting smoke-free kitchen in other areas of Nepal. The project being supported by Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, United Nation Foundation.