A jiko is a very important component of most homesteads in Kenya. Most homesteads use charcoal to cook and heat because it is more affordable as compared to others such as LPG.
Stats show that over 60 percent of Kenyan households use both firewood and charcoal to cook and heat. Many others use kerosene for heating and lighting.
But the use of a common jiko is becoming dangerous by the day. A few weeks ago, a whole family in Githurai 45 was wiped out after inhaling poisonous gases as they slept with charcoal burning.
The Githurai 45 case was not the first. We have had such cases before and the results have always been devastating.
When charcoal burns, it produces Carbon monoxide gas. When inhaled, the gas goes into the body and combines with the red blood cells’ hemoglobin. The gas then forms Carboxyhemoglobin causing blood to be unable to carry Oxygen.
Most people who have succumbed to inhaling the gas show no symptoms because most inhale while asleep.
“Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. Kenyans need to be careful while using burning charcoal. A jiko should be in a well-ventilated room with a free circulation of fresh air,” said Mr. Geoffrey Ikumilu, a lecturer of Biology.
Kenyans are encouraged to embrace the use of energy-saving Jikos that have been proved to emit minimal poisonous gases as compared to others.
“I would advise Kenyans to use Jikos such as Jikokoa. The jiko has been proved to be more effective in producing more heat, uses less charcoal, and is healthy with a highly reduced gases emitted when charcoal is burning,” said Mr. Ikumilu.
Jikokoa is manufactured by Burn Manufacturing and has won the hearts of many for its state-of-the-art energy-saving performance as compared to normal Jikos.
“With this cold season, Kenyans must be careful. It is not advisable to go to sleep with your jiko still on. Just put it off to save lives,” added Mr. Ikumilu.