This project will evaluate the impact of a private sector cookstove and fuel distribution intervention on exposure to airborne pollutants, health and poverty. Inyenyeri, a private social entrepreneurship venture, will provide free cookstoves to over 50,000 households in Western Rwanda and implement a fuel pellet business over the next three years. We will build a randomized control trial 1) to assess the impact of this intervention on exposure to carbon monoxide, particulate matter (PM) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) of the primary household cook, and 2) to model the dose-response relationship between exposure and cardiovascular disease risk. We will conduct exposure monitoring and health assessments six times over two years in 180 households, one-third of which we will randomized out to the control arm. We will conduct a socioeconomic survey in a sample of 1,400 households at baseline, 12 and 24 months to measure consumption, health, time use, and emissions exposure to model the impact of cookstove adoption on time allocation, income generating activities, school enrollment and household poverty.
Approximately half the world's population uses solid fuels (wood, animal dung, coal, biomass) as their principal fuel for lighting, cooking, and heating and dependence on these fuels and traditional cooking technologies is responsible for a host of health issues, including acute respiratory infection among children under five, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among adults, low birth weight, and other negative health outcomes. As a result, household air pollution and ambient particulate matter are two of the most important contributors to the global disease burden, accounting for 3.5 million and 3.1 million deaths respectively, and 4.5 and 3.1% of global DALYs respectively. The improved cooking technology, if used correctly and taken to scale, has the potential for significantly reducing the global disease burden.