Published: May 19, 2017

According to the World Bank, indoor pollution from coal, dung and wood-burning stoves as well as fire pits kills nearly two million people each year – including half of all children under the age of five who die from pneumonia. Over 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels. In Africa, almost four in five rely on solid biomass, mainly fuel wood and charcoal for cooking. An estimated 600,000 Africans die each year as a result of household air pollution, half of them children under the age of five.

For nearly 3 billion people each day, cooking is conducted on open fires or rudimentary cookstoves that are fueled by coal or solid biomass such as wood. Searching for and using solid biomass puts women and children’s safety at risk; depletes forests, which can weaken soil causing mudslides and destroying agricultural land; and jeopardizes human health and household and community air quality through toxic smoke emissions.

Burning solid biomass is inefficient at converting energy to heat for cooking, and releases a toxic mix of health-damaging pollutants that contribute to climate change at regional and global levels. In particular, some of these pollutants, such as black carbon and methane, have short life spans but significant consequences for the climate. Black carbon, which results from incomplete combustion, is estimated to contribute to the equivalent of 25 to 50 per cent of CO2 warming globally. Methane emissions are the second largest cause of climate change after carbon dioxide. It is clear that inefficient household energy use has adverse consequences for the environment, air quality and human health. On current trends, universal access to non-polluting cooking will not happen until the middle of the 22nd century.


It is estimated that about 13,700 deaths

occur every year as a result of smoke related illnesses in Ghana alone.

More than 50%

of premature deaths among children under 5 are due to pneumonia caused by particulate matter (soot) inhaled from household air pollution.

An estimated 600,000 Africans

die each year as a result of household air pollution, half of them children under the age of five

Around 3 billion

people cook and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves burning biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste) and coal.


Green Cross Ghana is embarking on the Clean Cookstove to raise awareness and galvanize local and global support to eliminate indoor pollution emanating from the use of sub-standard cookstoves in Ghana and other places in West Africa. The project is driving social, economic, environmental change as well as promoting better health among low and lower-middle income families.

We are helping to establish social enterprises championed by local entrepreneur in the assembly and distribution of clean cookstoves. One clean cookstove has the potential of saving 40 tress from being harvested for biomass. A single clean cookstove will prevent the emission of about 15 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere; this is equivalent to preventing the smoke inhalation of 5110 packs of cigarette.


Over 20,000 clean cookstoves to be distributed at the end of Phase I of campaign.

Over 300,000 tons of CO2 prevented from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Over 800,000 trees saved from being harvested for biomass for cooking.

Extra revenue for families as a result of about 50 per cent reduction in the use of purchased biomass.

Better health among women and children who are mostly affected by the harmful pollutants from sub-standard cookstoves.

Establishment of Social enterprises along the value chain of the project thereby creating Green jobs in the communities.

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