User Perspectives of Characteristics of Improved Cookstoves from a Field Evaluation in Western Kenya
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User Perspectives of Characteristics of Improved Cookstoves from a Field Evaluation in Western Kenya
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  • Alternative Title:
    Int J Environ Res Public Health
  • Description:
    Over half of the world's population uses biomass fuels; these households cook on open fires indoors, increasing their risk of adverse health effects due to household air pollution (HAP) from biomass combustion. This study evaluated six improved cookstoves (ICS) for effectiveness and acceptability in a rural community in Western Kenya. This paper describes women's views on each ICS compared to the traditional three-stone fire. Views on stove characteristics, fuel consumption, health effects and acceptability were assessed through structured interviews and focus group discussions. Data were coded and analyzed using a thematic approach. In total, 262 interviews and 11 focus groups were conducted from 43 women. Overall, women preferred the ICS over the traditional three-stone fire for various reasons including ease of use, efficiency, fuel efficiency and perceived reduction in smoke and improved health. However, there were clear preferences for specific ICS with almost half of women preferring a Philips stove. Despite acceptance and use of ICS, women used multiple stoves to meet their daily needs. Qualitative studies are essential to field evaluations to provide insight into user perspectives and acceptability of ICS and to inform research and development of technologies that are both effective in reducing HAP and practical in use.
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