Clean Cooking 2022.10.13

Cooking is the process of converting raw ingredients into food that we consume, and it generally involves the use of various fuels for heating purposes. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that about 2.6 billion people in many low- and middle-income countries still rely on the use of polluting fuels and inefficient technologies for cooking, including the use of inefficient stoves, wood, charcoal, coal, animal dung, crop waste and kerosene, which expose people to an environment full of air pollutants, thus increasing their risk of contracting lung diseases and putting their health and well-being at risk.

Statistics compiled by the World Bank also show that the top ten countries in 2020 with the highest proportions of the population without access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking are all located in Africa. At the top of the list is South Sudan, designated one of the least developed countries by the United Nations. The country's citizens have almost no access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking, according to published data. Burundi is not far behind at 99.8%. The 3rd to 5th ranked countries are Liberia (99.6%), Uganda (99.5%), and Sierra Leone (99.2%). Refer to the figure above for countries occupying the 6th to 10th places.

WHO has also reported that up to a staggering 3.8 million people suffer premature death each year due to exposure to household air pollution, such as inhaling exhaust gases from cooking. To address this situation, Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) issued by the United Nations is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030. In particular, clean cooking is also one of the key policies to be implemented, and countries are encouraged to cook with clean energy such as electricity, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, biogas, ethanol, and solar energy, with the objective of reducing air pollution and proactively creating a healthy and sustainable environment.