No more Killings in the Kitchen!
No more Killings in the Kitchen!
Indoor smoke is a silent killer in any kitchen that uses solid fuels on open fires or stoves without pipes, resulting in indoor air pollution. This smoke contains several pollutants that are harmful to one’s health, including minor toxic smoke or particulates that can enter the respiratory system and cause damage, including death. That equates to one death every 20 seconds (Ray & Smith, 2021). Because, according to the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution kills nearly four million people each year by causing cancer, pneumonia, heart and lung disease, and blindness, which is more than traffic accidents and tuberculosis combined. Women and children are extremely vulnerable to this smoke.
The consequences of this problem are palpable in Ghana. Over 70% of Ghanaians cook over open fires, inhaling toxic fumes on a daily basis. And it fuels a significant demand for firewood, propelling Ghana to the world’s fastest rate of rainforest deforestation in 2019 (Akabanda et al., 2019). Despite the fact that the population of Ghana has increased its access to clean cooking from 6% in 2000 to 23% in 2019 (Akabanda et al., 2019). This increase is insufficient because it leaves over 23 million people in the country without access to clean cooking, which is a disproportionately large number given the country’s estimated total population.
Now a New Eco – Friendly Way to Cook
It must change. At least, that’s what Econexus thought, given how many places in Ghana require environmentally sustainable energy solutions. As a result, the Ecogel was developed as a long-term solution to these issues. This ecogel is a bioethanol cooking gel/liquid made from water hyacinth, sawdust, and other waste products that have previously formed wastes and posed a threat to the ecosystem and are both abundant environmental and ocean-way wastes. This low-cost gel/liquid is smokeless, odorless, non-toxic, and easy to handle and store. It can also be used in traditional cooking stoves. Furthermore, when compared to wood, it reduces CO2 emissions by up to 50%. It reduces the pressure on forest fires more effectively, providing families with not only a safer cooking environment but also savings of up to 80% on wood fuel (Agbokey et al., 2019).
Killing Two Birds with One Stone
The benefit of ethanol gel/liquid fuel is that it can be made from a variety of tropical crops, including sorghum, cassava, tapioca, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, and many others. Econexus, on the other hand, chose to kill two birds with one stone by producing ethanol gel/liquid fuel from water hyacinth, which protects not only the human race but also aquatic life. Water hyacinth is one of the aquatic plants that have a negative impact on the aquatic environment. Most efforts in Ghana to control the growth and spread of this weed have failed (Agbokey et al., 2019). That is why Econexus experimented with the “eradication through utilization” concept. They began manufacturing this bio-ethanol cooking gel using water hyacinth, sawdust, and other agricultural biomass wastes. The wastes that endanger the ecosystem form dense mats of biomass on the water’s surface, reducing light to submerged vegetation and causing oxygen depletion and fish kills, resulting in an imbalance in the aquatic micro-ecosystem.
No more kitchen killings with Ecogel
Kitchens are supposed to be clean. Smoke and coal dust have no place in a kitchen because they kill over 3.8 million people each year from illnesses caused by household air pollution caused by the inefficient use of solid fuels and kerosene for cooking (Amadu et al., 2021). Econexus intends to help Ghana transition from traditional to clean and efficient cooking methods, with the ultimate goal of zero-carbon in the kitchen. There will be no more killings in the kitchen. And we can also contribute to the fight against this killer by bringing clean cooking to the forefront.
Agbokey, F., Dwommoh, R., Tawiah, T., Ae-Ngibise, K., Mujtaba, M., Carrion, D., Ali Abdulai, M., Afari-Asiedu, S., Owusu-Agyei, S., Asante, K., & Jack, D. (2019). Determining the Enablers and Barriers for the Adoption of Clean Cookstoves in the Middle Belt of Ghana—A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(7), 1207. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071207
Akabanda, F., Hlortsi, E. H., & Owusu-Kwarteng, J. (2019). Food safety knowledge, attitudes and practices of institutional food-handlers in Ghana. BMC Public Health, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3986-9
Amadu, I., Seidu, A.-A., Duku, E., Okyere, J., Hagan, J. E., Hormenu, T., & Ahinkorah, B. O. (2021). The Joint Effect of Maternal Marital Status and Type of Household Cooking Fuel on Child Nutritional Status in Sub-Saharan Africa: Analysis of Cross-Sectional Surveys on Children from 31 Countries. Nutrients, 13(5), 1541. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051541
Eni Ghana and World Bank sign MoU on clean cooking. (n.d.). Www.eni.com. Retrieved August 16, 2021, from https://www.eni.com/en-IT/media/news/2020/02/eni-ghana-and-world-bank-sign-mou-on-clean-cooking.html
Let’s come clean about dirty cooking. (n.d.). Blogs.worldbank.org. https://blogs.worldbank.org/energy/lets-come-clean-about-dirty-cooking
Ray, I., & Smith, K. R. (2021). Towards safe drinking water and clean cooking for all. The Lancet Global Health, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/s2214-109x(20)30476-9