Are “improved” Cookstoves in Pakistan better than the traditional ones?

Programmes to provide rural Pakistani households with so-called improved cookstoves have had a muted response due to a lack of awareness among target communities — particularly among the women who do the cooking, a study has found.

The finding comes as separate research suggests that some improved cookstove models actually cause more pollution than traditional mud stoves.

Traditional stoves — which run on biomass such as crop waste, dung and twigs — are known to cause indoor air pollution. Indoor and outdoor air pollution have been identified by the WHO has causing an estimated two million deaths each year.

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