BP 3869 Dakar, Sénégal
Tél. : (221) 33 832 64 71
Mlle Katharina LANG
Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) is still one of the most under estimated risks for human health. With an amount of about 1.6 million victims each year, predominately women and children (about 1 million victims each year), the world faces a death toll almost as great as that caused by unsafe water and sanitation and even greater than that caused by malaria.
IAP results from burning solid fuels for cooking and heating, which is the case for almost half of the world’s population. In most developing countries, these fuels are burned in open fires or rudimentary stoves with the consequence significant quantities of several pollutants for which many countries have set outdoor air quality standards – for example, carbon monoxide and particles. In addition, the aerosol contains many organic compounds considered to be toxic or carcinogenic.
There are a couple of epidemiological studies that show strong evidence of an association with use of solid fuels : acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) in children aged <5 years, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer (estimates for lung cancer are only for use of coal). In fact, a significant proportion, about 3%, of the global burden of disease, is attributable to IAP. The situation in Senegal is described both by official statistics and innate surveys on a qualitative level referring to demography, the sort of fuels consumed and some health characteristics.
Even if measures of exposure levels have not yet been done in Senegal and therefore neither for this paper, the delivered facts indicate a need for action against IAP. There are several possibilities to reduce exposure to indoor smoke, addressing the affected people’s behavior, their living environment or simply the source itself. Being part of the last category, improved stoves are proven to be the most cost-effective intervention for the region of Africa that Senegal is part of.
That is why the GTZ has undertaken another African project concerning improved stoves in Senegal (FASEN), aiming to (re)build a sustainable market for improved stoves with DGIS founds. Though a first step has been made, there is still a lot to be done, especially concerning international collaboration and efforts in epidemiological and cost-effectiveness studies for a stronger evidence of the health effects of IAP exposure, research in new fuels and techniques, assessment of the social, economic, and environmental benefits of interventions ; and of course indicators to monitor progress.