Patna, August 10, 2016; Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) organised an event, “Smokeless Kitchens for Healthy and Breathable Air” in Phulwari sharif, Patna to facilitate clean cooking, and handed over the application of about 5000 families demand for clean cooking.
CEED is currently running a campaign to phase out solid fuel from cooking practices in order to make the city air cleaner and healthier. CEED with the help of its Planet Paltan members conducted door-to-door survey to determine the number of people in PUAA (Patna Urban Allogmeration Area) who have been using biomass for cooking.
The “Clean Cooking” campaign aims to educate the households and share their demand with the Bihar government to implement urgent steps to help them switch to clean cooking methods. The campaign aims to mobilize thousands of households for clean cooking methods and also to encourage urban and semi-urban dwellers that depend on biomass and charcoal for cooking, to switch to clean cooking techniques.
While addressing the audience, Md. Shaban, Vice- Chairman, Phulwari sharif Nagar Parishad said that “the access to clean energy in households not only protects the health of their families but also reduces the level of air pollution. This shift is also efficient in terms of the time and money spent in cooking, fuel gathering and also on fuel costs.” Md. Shabban also praised CEED on this noble campaign to increase awareness and for creating a vigorous demand for clean and efficient household solutions.
At a time when climate change and increasing air pollution instances have become a menace to a secure and healthy environment, curbing the biomass dependency in cooking practices can go a long way in ensuring the same. Toxic smokes that emanate during household cooking with biomass is more life threatening than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. The biomass burning solely accounts for more than 20% of all regional particulate matter2.5 emissions in Patna.
Biomass dependency not just affects the personal human health and adds to air pollution, but is severely bad for the pockets too. An average household in PUAA spends about Rs. 50-75 per day on fuel which is further credited to the time spent by women on fuel collection and health risks.
Shedding light on the matter, Ms. Ankita Jyoti, Programme Manager- CEED, commented that “In Bihar, lack of access to energy, be it for cooking or for lighting purposes, is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. It is shocking to note that 90% of the households in Bihar are still using solid fuel for cooking which is adversely impacting the health of women and children. Our goal is to take clean cooking fuel to every energy-deficient household, and encourage, engage and interact with them to build a better future. It is heartening to know that about 5000 households have already been enrolled for the clean cooking program.”
“I am happy and delighted to shift to clean cooking”, said Mrs. Saira Bano resident of Phulwarisarif. She further adoitted that “this shift will not only improve my family’s health and well being but shall also improve and generate sustainable income streams to save my family out of poverty.”
The report released by CEED, ‘Air pollution begins at home – A report on cooking practices in Patna’ highlights the sorry state of affairs in PUAA. It is estimated that about 1.38 lakh households in the city are still using bio-mass for cooking, which is severely polluting the air.