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In Nigeria, 50% to 80% of households burn wood, charcoal, coal, or kerosene for cooking. The WHO estimates that over 218,000 deaths are attributed to indoor air pollution each year. Household air pollution continues to be a problem because of the hazardous emissions that affect human health and the environment. Black carbon is one such shortlived climate pollutant (SLCP) with a warming impact on climate 460-1500 times stronger than CO2 because of how it absorbs light and heats its surroundings. Clean cooking solutions offer a healthier alternative to the open fires heavily used in Nigeria, presenting a major opportunity to evaluate and scale viable options for rural communities in Nigeria.
Through this joint initiative, Nexleaf Analytics and Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES), with support from CCAC, set out to reimagine how we tackle household air pollution. Rather than focusing on changing deeply-entrenched and culturally-driven behaviors of local communities, we used data to understand household behavioral patterns (adoption) to guide the pilot and ultimately learn which cooking solutions are worth scaling up.
This pilot was designed to assess how data can determine the usability of different clean cooking solutions in Nigeria as well as inform financial models that can help make clean cooking sustainable for the rural poor. The data discussed in this report is from the first phase of this program, which ran from April to October of 2019, and involved sensor-based monitoring of cooking behavior of 50 households on both clean cooking solutions and traditional cookstoves. The sensor data was coupled with survey data to provide a richer picture of the complexity of cooking and to pave the way for adaptable approaches to a seemingly intractable problem.