Chef Susan Kamau and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Launch Campaign to Raise Awareness of Clean Cooking in Kenya
Susan Kamau, CEO of the Kenyan Kitchen, is joining the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to launch a digital media campaign to help increase adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels in Kenya. The #CookCleanForKenya campaign, kicking off today on the Kenyan Kitchen Facebook page will provide information on the negative impacts of inefficient cooking and highlight the benefits of switching to cleaner, more efficient cookstoves and fuels. The campaign is also inviting Kenyans to participate directly by sharing a photo of themselves and others cooking for the chance to win a prize.
“I was stunned when I first learned of the enormous number of people impacted by inefficient, harmful cooking in Kenya and globally,” said Susan Kamau, CEO of Kenyan Kitchen and member of the Alliance Chef Corps. “The #CookCleanforKenya campaign will help build awareness about clean cooking and also invite people share their cooking stories and photos directly with their networks, all in the hopes of improving people’s health, protecting the environment, and saving people money through increased use of cleaner, more efficient cookstoves.”
As part of the new campaign, participants will talk about how their cooking method, whether it’s a gas or electric cooker or an open fire, impacts their daily life. While some Kenyans have knowledge of the negative impacts of cooking smoke, this issue is still not widely understood, and many Kenyans are not aware of how clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels can benefit them on a daily basis. The #CookCleanforKenya campaign will improve this understanding and ask Kenyans to add their voices to encourage this essential transition to clean, sustainable energy at the household level.
Exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires – the primary means of cooking and heating for nearly three billion people in the developing world – causes more than 4 million premature deaths, including 15,700 deaths in Kenya, every year. Cookstove smoke contributes to a range of chronic illnesses and acute health impacts such as early childhood pneumonia, emphysema, cataracts, lung cancer, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, and low birth weight.
Reliance on biomass for cooking and heating increases pressures on local natural resources and forces women and children to spend many hours each week collecting wood. Inefficient cookstoves also contribute to climate change through emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, and aerosols such as black carbon.
Alternatively, the use of clean, safe and efficient cookstoves can dramatically reduce fuel consumption hence reducing pressure on forests and exposure to harmful smoke. They have the potential to provide economic opportunities throughout the value chain as well as saving time spent in fuel wood collection that can be used for more productive purposes.
To ensure that the #CookCleanForKenya campaign is successful, The Kenyan Kitchen will work very closely with Clean Cookstoves Association of Kenya (CCAK), an association that convenes and coordinates the sector by advocating for enabling government policies, creating public awareness and capacity building of partners in the clean cooking sector.
Myra Mukulu, Executive Secretary of the Clean Cookstoves Association of Kenya, lauded this effort, “We are excited that we are now seeing numerous efforts geared towards increasing the demand of clean cooking technologies and fuels. Increasing the use of these household energy solutions are essential to improving our country’s health and well-being, environment, and economy. We have also seen that Kenyan women can significantly benefit from using clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels. Our members recognize the power of social media and are already working with Kenyan Kitchen to support the Facebook campaign. We applaud the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Kenyan Kitchen for initiating the campaign.”
Kenya is working towards fulfilling its Country Action Plan on clean cooking and the country is a focus country for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The Kenyan government supports the adoption of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels and recognizes that scaling up clean cooking is critical to attaining the objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All Action Agenda, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and implementing Kenya’s Nationally Determined Contribution to addressing climate change. The Alliance appreciates the Caterpillar Foundation's in part support of the #CookCleanForKenya campaign.