It is estimated that around 3 billion people rely on polluting fuels (biomass, coal, kerosene) for cooking. Using solid fuel for this purpose can lead to highly negative economic, social and health impacts for low-income households.

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is the single most important environmental health risk worldwide, with around 4 million premature deaths annually due to household air pollution. Women and children suffer most from the adverse impacts of energy poverty as they spend a significant proportion of their time in the home and are responsible for cooking and gathering wood. In addition, fuel inefficient cookstoves expose women and children to injuries and respiratory illnesses due to smoke inhalation. It is clear that we need to do more.

As recently highlighted in the “Accelerating SDG 7 achievement policy briefs” developed in view of the UN High-Level Political Forum, it was clearly stated that if we are to be successful in reaching the goals of SDG 7 - clean-cooking solutions must be a top political priority. Read "Clean Cooking: Talk does not cook rice" on this issue by SNV expert Rianne Teule. 

Also, underfunding of the sector is a particular issue. Although the effects of traditional forms of cooking kill more people than AIDS and Malaria combined, in 2014 there was a $4.4 billion estimated annual investment needed for cooking projects, but only $32 million committed(0.72%) - A problem which has been highlighted by the Dutch SPARK coalition.

SPARK is a network of Netherlands-based public, business, finance, carbon, and development partners collaborating to achieve the ambitious goals of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC).  To read more of the aims of the SPARK coalition please read, "When cooking kills - the time to act is NOW!.

However, finally, clean cooking is starting to get the attention it deserves and taking its place firmly on the political agenda. SNV recently attended the Clean Cooking Investment Forum 2018, which was held in Kigali, Rwanda as part of a Renewable Energy Week. This private sector-oriented conference convened business leaders, investors, donors and government representatives to collaborate on developing an industry at scale to deliver modern, clean cooking solutions around the world. Click here to learn more about SNV’s presence at the event.

SNV runs a number of market-based clean cookstoves projects across the developing world incorporating innovative approaches such as Result Based Financing in Tanzania and Vietnam to kick-start markets. We have also introduced a stove auction, a new trading platform for clean cookstoves. The auction model is a very new way of going about market development and may change the way we think about development aid.

As part of our OYE programme in Tanzania, Mozambique and Rwanda, we have trained and incentivised youth to work and become entrepreneurs in the clean cookstove sector. Read the story of Amina from Tanzania who was trained under the OYE programme and has established a local market for her cookstoves products.

To learn more about our clean cookstoves projects, please see our Clean Cookstoves Capability Statement or read below for stories illustrating the work SNV is undertaking to eradicate the polluting smoke from traditional forms of cooking.

The Case for Clean Cooking - Article Rwandan New Times

When cooking kills - Dutch SPARK Coalition brochure

Talk will not cook rice - SNV expert's blog

More about Tanzania Improved Cookstoves (TICS) Programme

See SNV at @CCIF2018:

Learn more about SNV at CCIF18

Watch SPARK interview with Neera van der Geest at CCIF18


Wim van Nes

Global Sector Coordinator - Energy