Improved Cookstove Research in Northern Ghana

Katherine Dickinson

Nearly 3 billion people cook over open flames on a daily basis. This behavior impacts local and regional air quality, global climate, and human health. With colleagues in CU’s Engineering and Applied Math departments, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, North Carolina State University, and the Navrongo Health Research Center in Ghana, Katie is investigating how cooking behaviors and the adoption of cleaner stoves influence environmental and health outcomes.

In a first phase (2013-2015), the Research on Emissions, Air quality, Climate, and Cooking Technologies in Northern Ghana (REACCTING) project implemented a randomized intervention with 200 households in the Kassena-Nankana district of Northern Ghana. This project was funded by the NSF (Coupled Natural and Human Systems) and the US EPA. The study tested two types of biomass burning stoves, with households randomized into three different intervention arms receiving different combinations of stoves and one control arm (receiving their choice of stoves at the end of the study). Measurements assessed stove use and cooking behavior, cooking emissions, household air pollution and personal exposure, health burden, and local to regional air quality.

A second phase of the project received funding in 2015 from the NSF Economics program. Prices, Peers, and Perceptions (P3): Improved Cookstove Research in Northern Ghana will build on the REACCTING project, offering stoves at varying prices to peers and non-peers of the REACCTING households in order to study technology adoption decisions in this context.