28 February 2012 – The United Nations and its partners have teamed up with local villagers in Afghanistan to develop clean cooking stoves that could potentially save lives by improving indoor air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on wood for fuel.
Afghanistan is among the 10 countries worst affected by indoor pollution, given that over 95 per cent of its estimated 30 million people burn wood and other solid fuels in their homes, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO).
Indoor smoke from traditional Afghan tandoors, or drum-shaped ovens which are used for cooking and heating, is a major health issue. A recent WHO study found that inhaling smoke from indoor heating and cooking kills about 54,000 Afghans per year. Regularly breathing smoke also leads to childhood pneumonia, lung cancer and other cardiovascular diseases.
The inefficient use of dung and wood for fuel is also adding to stress on the environment, says the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which notes that all Afghan forests will disappear within 30 years at the current rate of deforestation. read more>>>