According to the World Energy Outlook 2012 report, 2.6 billion people still depend on traditional cooking stoves or open fires for cooking and heating their homes. Every week 75,000 people, mostly women and children, get sick or even die as a direct result of inhaling smoke.
Also, each day 3.9 million tons of fuel wood is burnt, contributing to the daily loss of 200 square kilometers of forest.
Global technology company, Philips and the SNV Netherlands Development Organization have therefore joined forces in order to offer rural communities clean and affordable cooking solutions, starting with Kenya and Ghana.
Over the last three years, Philips has manufactured an innovative fan driven cook stove to improve the lives of those who rely on wood or biomass for their daily cooking. The stoves reportedly reduce smoke and carbon monoxide emissions by more than 90 per cent compared to an open fire, reducing the health risks of indoor cooking.
(READ MORE: Philips to expand presence in Africa)
SNV on the other hand has extensive experience with increasing access to clean cooking solutions for low income communities through collaborations with local retailers to promote and increase the availability of clean cooking stoves.
“We believe that inclusive business can play an important role in poverty reduction and low carbon growth. We want to increase the income and health of low-income groups in a climate smart way, while at the same time generating benefits for participating companies,” said Andy Wehkamp, SNV’s director of renewable energy.
“By joining forces with Philips we expect to reduce the amount of people dependent on open fires or inefficient cook stoves for cooking. This contributes to a better environment, while low-income groups can enjoy better health and living conditions.”
(READ MORE: Changing rural Africa's perceptions of off-grid living)
Christoph Castellaz, head of strategy and new business development for Philips Africa said that their attraction to SNV is its extensive Africa-wide network and deep understanding of the local environment.
“We welcome the opportunity to partner with SNV; Philips is passionate to invent and apply technology to help people but we need meaningful partnerships to co-create new solutions and new business models that can make innovations like our cook stove accessible and affordable to communities that need them the most,” he added.
An official Memorandum of Understanding is set to be signed on the 20 November 2014 during the assembly of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves in New York.