Project

From fuel to pot: an interdisciplinary partnership to address the role of solid fuel use in food preparation in the household in Kenya and Malawi.

Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Collaboration with Kenya Medical Research Institute and University of Malawi.

From fuel to pot: an interdisciplinary partnership to address the role of solid fuel use in food preparation in the household in Kenya and Malawi (2021) (Funded by UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council)

More than 3 billion people globally cook their food on solid fuels including wood, charcoal, coal and animal dung, as these are the most available and affordable sources of energy. Those most affected are poor urban and peri-urban dwellers in low and middle income countries (LMICs) who cannot afford to connect to the modern energy infrastructure for their cooking needs, and who live in high-density housing with limited ventilation. Women and girls are particularly at risk as they are the primary cooking fuel gatherers and the primary cooks in most LMICs. The aim of this 20 months project is to better understand the role of solid fuel ( charcoal, wood, biomass waste etc) use in cooking food in informal settlements in Kenya and Malawi, given its adverse health impacts, and in order to develop innovative and contextually appropriate interventions. We will work closely with community members in the slum of Mukuru ( Kenya) and Ndirande ( Malawi). We will use participatory and and interdisciplinary methods to explore the lived experiences of women and children in households which cook food with solid fuels in Kenya and Malawi.
We willc onduct walking interviews to understand the experience of the of ‘fuel to pot’ journey in Mukuru and Ndirande and use photovoice methods to explore and understand the lived experience of community members of cooking using solid fuel. We will also visualize and sense-check the data co-constructed with community members using a range of techniques focused on visual literacy (pop-up exhibitions of posters, paintings or drawings made by local artists and videos), and engage in a discussion with community members in Mukuru and Ndirande around potential intervention ideas which the Partnership may take forward to address their priorities in terms of cooking food on solid fuels. We will take the feedback from those discussion to further stakeholders events with policy makers, government officials, NGOS, academics and traditional leaders and discuss the potential intervention ideas and their feasibility and appropriateness, at events in Nairobi and Blantyre.

ISMH staff: Isabelle Uny ( PI, Sean Semple) Stirling university staff: Heather Price, Sian Lucas, Line Caes External: Lusizi kambalame, Limbani Kalumbi and Moses Chamba at the Malawi University of Business and applied Sciences (MUBAS); Fred Orina and Hellen Meme at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), and residents in the communities of Ndirande and Mukuru.

Total award value £181,608.38

People

Dr Isabelle Uny
Dr Isabelle Uny

Research Fellow, ISM

Dr Sean Semple
Dr Sean Semple

Associate Professor, Institute for Social Marketing

Dr Heather Price
Dr Heather Price

Lecturer, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Dr Line Caes
Dr Line Caes

Lecturer in Psychology, Psychology

Dr Sian Lucas
Dr Sian Lucas

Lecturer, Social Work

Ms Aileen Paton
Ms Aileen Paton

Research Co-ordinator, Institute for Social Marketing