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Transitioning to modern energy cooking services in Cameroon

19th May 2021

By Dr. Elisa Puzzolo (The University of Liverpool)

The University of Liverpool and Douala General Hospital through the NIHR CLEAN-Air Africa Global Health Research Group have launched a MECS-funded project to evaluate current cooking practices and the potential for adoption of modern clean cooking fuels in urban and peri-urban Cameroon.

Conducting surveys in the field. Image credit: Douala General Hospital research team, CLEAN-Air(Africa) partner.

Cameroon has a population largely dependent on traditional fuels for household energy with an estimated 71% of the population currently relying on solid fuel for cooking (mainly wood). It is estimated that household air pollution arising from this fuel use accounts for about 5% of healthy life years lost in the country and approximately 15,000 premature deaths, representing 6.7% of all mortality.

The objectives of the research are to document current fuel use practices in peri-urban and urban contexts in Cameroon and to explore aspirational use of clean modern energy cooking services (mecs) to understand the potential for scaling mecs in these settings providing an evidence-base for national energy policy. A mixed-methods approach will be employed utilising representative surveys, cooking diaries, observations and in-depth interviews.

Phase 1 involved a fuel and cooking survey in Mbalmayo (peri-urban, Central Cameroon) of 518 households. Additional surveys (n=1500) are being administered in Cameroon’s two major cities; Douala (commercial) and Yaounde (political).

Conducting surveys in the field. Image credit: Douala General Hospital research team, CLEAN-Air(Africa) partner.

Based on responses to the surveys households will be selected to conduct 7-day in-depth cooking diaries collecting a detailed record of foods cooked, fuels/ stoves used and who is being cooked for.

In-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews (IDIs) (n=8 from each city) will explore current use of electricity and gas for cooking elucidating barriers/ solutions to scaling their use in urban Cameroon.

For more information about the research please contact either Elisa Puzzolo or Dan Pope

Opportunity: Women in Modern Energy Cooking (WMEC) initiative launched