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KEMRI Participates in the National Tree Growing Day
November 15, 2023
KEMRI Ranked Top in Health Research
November 28, 2023

Leading Indoor Pollution Agenda

Experts and stakeholders in Household Air Pollution recently wrapped up a two-day engagement workshop in Nairobi with an aim to foster collaboration among key national and international stakeholders, facilitating knowledge sharing to address the pressing threat of HAP and its associated silent casualties.

The workshop convened in Nairobi County from 15th – 16th November 2023 brought together government officials, non-governmental organizations, industry players, researchers, cooperate entities, and community members including representatives of youth, women, and indigenous people’s groups with the objectives to create a platform for the effective development and management of a clean household energy program, and to inform stakeholders and raise awareness on WHO’s air pollution monitoring tools.

KEMRI Ag. Director General, Prof. Elijah Songok gives his opening remarks at the HAP stakeholders engagement workshop.
KEMRI’s Deputy Director CRDR, Dr. Jane Rahedi and
CLEAN Air Africa Co- Director, Dr. James Mwitari during the HAP stakeholder’s engagement workshop.

WHO household air pollution data shows that 3.2 million people die prematurely each year, from illnesses attributed to household air pollution caused by the incomplete combustion of solid fuels and kerosene used for cooking. In Kenya, cooking practices predominantly rely on solid polluting fuels, with 67% of the population utilizing firewood and charcoal contributing to over 22,000 lives annually. This heavy reliance on solid fuels exposes millions of Kenyans to harmful air pollutants, including particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides, which have been correlated with various health problems such as respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer.

“KEMRI recognizes that addressing household air pollution effectively requires a multi-pronged approach that strengthens the health system and empowers communities to adopt safer practices,” stated Ag. Director General Prof. Elijah Songok while making his remarks at the workshop..

It is crucial to expand the adoption of clean fuels and technologies as a means to diminish household air pollution, safeguard health, and eliminate associated fatalities. Clean cooking brings manifold advantages for the environment, health, and economic development. As per the Clean Cooking Alliance, the widespread implementation of clean cooking solutions can decrease direct emissions, promote carbon removal through reforestation, preserve biodiversity, enhance air quality, bolster sustainable economic growth, and elevate food quality.

In her opening remarks, a speech from First Lady, Rachel Ruto read by the MaMa Doing Good Foundation CEO, Mr. John Chumo said, “It is clear that women and youth will drive the transition to clean cooking and we must empower them through education and access to alternative clean fuel sources. Through Mama Doing Good Foundation and in partnership with CLEAN Air (Africa) we have developed a sensitization manual tailored for Kenyan women, this manual is based on the Ministry of Health (MoH) module 14 on household air pollution”

KEMRI’s Research Scientist, Ms. Sophie Matu during
the engagement workshop.
Some of the delegates at the HAP stakeholder’s
engagement workshop.

Further, the workshop underscored the importance of collaboration among the stakeholders to find sustainable solutions to the challenges posed by household air pollution and achieve SDG 7 energy compact whose target is achieving Universal Access to Modern Energy Cooking Services by 2028.

“I call upon all stakeholders present here to join hands and establish a multisectoral platform of action plan.
This platform will serve as a hub for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and joint implementation of
initiatives aimed at combating household air pollution in Kenya. This action plan will enable us to unlock the
collective expertise and resources needed to tackle household air pollution holistically,” stated WHO Country Representative, Dr. Diallo Abdourahmane.

Sentiments that were echoed by the Ag. DG Prof. Elijah Songok, “Household air pollution is a complex and
challenging issue, but it is not insurmountable. By working together, we can make a difference. We call upon all stakeholders from government agencies to community organizations to join us in this collective effort to overcome the challenge of household air pollution and create a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous Kenya for all.”

The workshop supported by World Health Organization (WHO), was hosted by the MoH, KEMRI, MaMa Doing
Good, and Safaricom Plc.

KEMRI’s Research Scientist, Mr. Arthur Gohole
makes his contribution to a discussion at the engagement workshop.
CAA Director, Prof Dan Pope and Prof. Nigel Bruce take the delegates through an interactive session on the threat of HAP
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