Solid fuels 'largest indoor source of pollution'

What are Non-English speaking countries doing to stop air pollution?

Solid fuels 'largest indoor source of pollution'

Postby Wilberforce » Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:05 pm

Solid fuels 'largest indoor source of pollution'

HOUSEHOLD use of solid fuels such as dung, wood, agricultural residues, charcoal and coal, is likely to be the largest indoor source of air pollution in developing countries.

This was said in Dar es Salaam during a workshop dubbed Biomass Energy Initiative for Africa (BEIA) organized by the World Bank.The World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi, Philippe Dongier, said that sadly across Africa, access to modern energy is at best stagnant, while traditional fuels become increasingly scarce and more labour intensive.

He said that in some countries, access to modern energy is actually declining from its current very low level, as existing systems flounder for lack of maintenance and extensions of service fail to keep pace with population growth. As a result, an ever greater number of Africans are shut out of the development process.

"Most importantly, energy is about providing opportunities to escape poverty which are denied by the impossibility for Africans to leverage human effort through modern forms of energy," Dongier said.He said that without access to the services which commercial energy and other infrastructure provide, Africans are unable to leverage their efforts to generate surplus, to participate in markets and to grow beyond subsistence activity and to provide time to participate in personal development, for example in education and health programmes.

He added that in the past, biomass has not received much attention but now given the potential of sustainable biomass energy to contribute to poverty alleviation and sustainable management of natural resources, this form of modern energy has been given more focus in the Africa Energy Strategy.

Speaking during the workshop, Robert Aitken from South Africa said that as countries like Tanzania develop economically, significant strain is being put on the nation's environment, in particular forests."Widespread use and limited governance of forests leads to extensive deforestation, which poses a significant threat to both individual families, particularly in rural Tanzania," he added.

He said that utilization of biogas will reduce over dependence on firewood and charcoal for cooking and hence excessive consumption of fuel wood.Biogas is a mixture of different gas components produced from anaerobic digestion of organic matters, and the main component from such reaction is the methane gas.

He told participants that biomass energy is especially relevant for Sub Saharan Africa, where over 80 per cent of the population relies upon wood, crop and animal residues for meeting their household needs, mainly cooking.During the workshop, participants discussed the initiative focus of biomass which include creating an enabling market conditions for high quality and high performance modern cooking stoves, modernizing the charcoal industry, capacity building and strengthening leadership in biomass energy. Together with World Bank professionals and experts from the private sector, options and strategies were discussed to implement a number of projects in Sub Saharan countries including Tanzania, Uganda and Gambia.In Tanzania, death or injury from smoke inhalation is a common occurrence related to poor ventilation while cooking, and according to World Health Organization, respiratory diseases caused by smoke from cooking kills a staggering 1.9 million women and children worldwide.

Mr Aitken said that over 2.9 billion people continue to rely on traditional biomass fuels for their cooking and heating needs, and said that for people in these communities, the absence of affordable, reliable energy has significant consequences for human health, welfare, and economic development.

source ... -pollution
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

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• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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