Preventing the loss of lives to respiratory diseases is a goal within Kenya’s grasp. Yet it will require a shift in attention that is currently eluding us – at a huge cost in unnecessary deaths.
The truth is many deaths are happening in Kenya’s rural areas while we continue blaming other causes. The deathtrap is within our homes and our mothers have a role to play in keeping it off the future generation.
The biggest killer of our babies and young children, today, is the smoke caused by cooking with firewood. Many children, under the age of five, are dying due to respiratory diseases that can be prevented by using energy-saving jikos.
As it is, the current goals for reducing the under-five child mortality rate were set in 2015 as part of the Millennial Development Goals (MDGs).
By then, Rwanda had achieved the continent’s highest annual reductions in under-five mortality rate, saving the lives of more than 590,000 children.
This represented considerable progress but remained far below the 2015 MDGs targets of 26/1,000 for infant mortality rate and 33/1,000 for under-five mortality.
However, the aim of the new targets was to end preventable child deaths from pneumonia and diarrhea by 2025, in line with the integrated Global Action Plan for pneumonia and diarrhea.
There is a need for Kenyans to embrace the use of cooking methods that emit little to no carbon if we want to continue saving lives and secure a future generation.
“Carbon offsets should be the ideal solution for donors looking to contribute to verified reductions in atmospheric GHGs. Carbon offsets fund projects that are supposed to reduce GHGs,” says a piece Giving Green by IDinsight.
For instance, Burn makes and distributes fuel-efficient stoves in Kenya. Their impact on fuel usage (and therefore GHG emissions) was validated by a recent randomized controlled trial or RCT), which sets it apart from the mixed results of other cookstove providers.
Additionally, these stoves provided households with major economic benefits due to reduced fuel costs for cooking.