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A contemporary write-up on the African environment, everyday people, and logic applied in diaries.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

The effect of using the traditional cooking stove and how much it affects you and the environment. A four minutes read.

The kerosene fuelled stove is commonly used in developing countries of the world. The particular type on display is popular in Nigeria. Over the years people of the past and present have relied on this traditional method of cooking, ranging from the local farmer, teacher, trader, plumber and in most homes found in the urban areas in Nigeria; as this makes-up 80% of the cooking population--i am guessing, is not an actual statistics.

The use of this stove is efficient for heating to most people, not forgetting. it is cheap and economical for users; as money is utilized economically compared to alternative method--using the common man logic. Now! we have discuss the pros; lets get to the cons.

The use of this traditional stove is always associated with the emission of carbon monoxide co, which normally is odourless, colourless, tasteless and toxic, would definitely kill you when exposed over a long period of time in a confine space. The carbon monoxide comes to be as a result of incomplete combustion of carbon that is absent of oxygen.

Carbon monoxide exposure in homes above 70ppm can cause symptoms like: headache, fatigue, and nausea but sustained level above 150ppm can cause disorientation, unconsciousness, and death. Just imagine this happening in a poorly ventilated kitchen, as it is in most of our kitchens in Africa; well! you weigh the results.

 When it comes to exposure every one is at risk. Unborn babies, infants, the elderly and people with conditions like: chronic heart diseases, anaemia, or respiratory problems, as they are generally more at risk than others.

 Often noticed around cooking pot used in cooking with the traditional stoves; during or after cooking as a result of wrong setting of stove wick or any other part; as well as incomplete combustion of carbon, is the presence of black carbon or soot; a component of particulate matter.

 Black carbon apart from it's negative health impacts over the years, is among one of the many causes of climate change and happens to be number 2 in the carbon family to carbon-dioxide CO2 in the amount of heat trap in the atmosphere; which causes global warming, rise in sea level, flooding and other environmental disturbing problems and degradation. So needless to say, looking for a better  alternative methods of cooking doesn't just care for your health, it cares for the environment.

 If you find this post educating, please feel free to share using the social media icon below, you can as well connect to this platform using the social media icon above. Hope you visit again; until next time, enjoy.


  1. it means parts per million. it is a kind of measurement in units. in measuring compounds and substances. it just like saying 1gramme of metal or something. i hope i have been helpful?

  2. Elucidating and enlightening post, Uche. I have some questions though:

    Do you think the disadvantages of the kerosene stove can be improved on?
    Are these disadvantages sufficient enough to warrant users seek other alternatives?
    What other better alternatives are available?

    P.S. A historical overview on the discovery of the stove would have been ideal.

    Weldone brother

    1. Well! the disadvantages remain dominant and would continue to exist but could be minimal; for those ( die hard stubborn individuals )that would never consider an alternative or might consider it too expensive, if such individuals could ensure kitchen space been more ventilated; it could help, but this doesn't provide solution but provides a way your body system could filter naturally; although carbon monoxide has a distinct ability of deceiving haemoglobin into thinking it is oxygen. The kerosene fuelled stove, charcoal stoves and firewood stoves are method of cooking in Africa and many developing countries, and it has been use even before most of our time and have never been sustainable and possess so many health risk, apart from the carbon exposure, this methods can also be carcinogenous over a long period of time. As to whether it is sufficient enough to warrant change; it is but it all depends on individuals perceptive. So many people stick to been " die hard / rock hard " and they say to their selves if people have been using it, we can..... just like the warning of tobacco smokes given to the world, but yet you know the story. The kerosene fuel stove is toxic and unhealthy, as it is: not sustainable, health destructive and environmentally degrading. I hope i could be of help Mr odimba, until your next read. Enjoy.