A Trek for Cleaner Cookstoves
The United Nations estimates that nearly half the world’s population, some three billion people in developing countries, cook over open wood fires or primitive stoves. The practice leads to persistent health problems and accounts for nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
But, as Elisabeth Rosenthal reported in The Times in 2009, many in the developed world are unaware of this problem and the benefits that would accrue from addressing it.
“Understanding that simple images can seize more attention than fund-raising letters, the Paradigm Project is hoping to bring the issue closer to home by sponsoring the Woodwalk, a 10-day, 136-mile trek from San Diego to Los Angeles. The volunteers, who set out on Tuesday, are carrying 50-pound bundles of wood 10 to 15 miles each day, as many women do in the developing world. The event will draw attention to the group’s mission to provide clean cookstoves to five million people in developing countries by 2020.”
Women and children suffer the most from indoor air pollution caused by dirty and inefficient cooking methods, according to United Nations data. Women can cook at these primitive stoves for as long as six or seven hours a day, often with small children on their backs.”