(ORDO NEWS) — Reducing wood burning stoves could save the lives of about half a million Africans a year.
Traditional wood and charcoal stoves are the centerpiece of millions of homes in Africa, as well as in other developing regions of the world.
However, the balance of benefits and costs of this heating method varies by location.
In particular, burning with wood contributes to respiratory diseases, since the stoves are heated in a black way, and collecting fuel takes time.
Scientists ran simulations using the OnStove software and found that replacing traditional wood and coal stoves in sub-Saharan Africa could prevent up to 463,000 deaths each year.
At the same time, savings in health care costs will amount to $66 billion, according to Associate Professor Francesco Fuso-Nerini.
Achieving this goal would require a net capital investment of $7.5 billion to provide alternatives such as gas and electric stoves and improved wood stoves that safely redirect emissions.
“This amount may seem high, but it is only about 0.5% of what is spent annually in the world on energy investments,” the scientist says.
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