''Extract taken from www.smokeinthekitchen.com
22 April 2010''

The joint effort of Shell Foundation, Grameen Koota and stove manufacturers Envirofit, First Energy and SELCO connects all the three dots by making improved cook stoves affordable through loans. The partnership with Grameen Koota covers all of Karnataka.

Along with field coordinators from a local NGO, Navya Disha, loan officers from Grameen Koota travel across villages to talk to people about the issues of IAP, the Shell Foundation IAP Awareness campaign, the availability of improved cook stoves and loans from Grameen Koota to facilitate the purchase of stoves.

Names of members from the audience, who attend the demonstrations, interested in purchasing stoves are passed on to stove vendors by field coordinators and loan officers. The stove vendors then deliver the stoves to the customers.

According to Pradeep Pursnani, Business Director, Breathing Space, Shell Foundation "It is great to finally see the Stove-MFI model being put into practice. The team has been working hard to set up a dedicated stove team, coordinate activities with manufacturers and get everyone trained … ...to hit the ground running.. This initiative will address the affordability barrier and help the stove industry reach out to customers who need an Improved Cook Stove to combat indoor air pollution. All eyes are on this pilot. A sustainable route to market will encourage other MFIs to extend these products to their member base."

In order to facilitate the availability of stoves to the maximum number of IAP-affected population, Shell Foundation has introduced a truck to deliver stoves to interested customers.

Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) is one of world’s biggest killers. More than 1.5 million people die prematurely each year and tens of millions more experience ill-health because of the fumes they breathe while cooking on open fires and traditional stoves, according to the World Health Organisation.

The activation of MFIs for the campaign seeks to explore pathways to the market and is directed at creating sustainable partners who would over the long term address the market as collaborative marketers.

Says Anuradha Bhavnani, "Indoor Air Pollution impacts the health of the world poor due to lack of access to clean and affordable energy. Microfinance is recognized as one of the most important tools to provide financial services to millions of unreached/under-served poor. Hence, building a bridge and linking the two i.e addressing IAP through the MFI partners and there beneficiary households is the logical link to test out."

IAP impacts more than 90% of the population in the world’s poorest countries – and can be “equivalent to consuming two packs of cigarettes each day” (WHO 2006 Fuel for Life report).

Toxic chemicals inhaled include Carbon Monoxide (CO) and a range of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) that penetrate deep into the lungs leading to a wide variety of illnesses including: pneumonia, chronic respiratory disease, heart disease, low birth weight and probably tuberculosis.

There is also a growing link between IAP and climate change. With half the world’s population burning wood, dung and other biomass each year creates million of tonnes of Carbon Dioxide – as well as other climate change creating emissions such as Methane and so-called Black Carbon (soot).

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