KENYA—CLEAN-Air (Africa) has launched Kenya’s first household air pollution sensitization and prevention initiative, featuring women in table banking.

In collaboration with the Office of the First Lady of Kenya’s Mama Doing Good Foundation and the Kenyan Ministry of Health, CLEAN-Air (Africa) aims to address household air pollution and empower communities.

The CLEAN-Air (Africa) household air pollution sensitization program was officially launched in Nairobi on Wednesday, November 29.

CLEAN-Air (Africa) initiated this training program for women in table banking with support from the Mama Doing Good, Joyful Women program.

The training was provided to 40 members of the Joyful Women Table Banking Program by Hilary Chebon and Judy Manyara from the Kenyan Ministry of Community Health.

The NIHR CLEAN-Air (Africa) Global Health Research Unit is a collaboration of environmental public health professionals from the United Kingdom, Kenya, Cameroon, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda, which spearheads this initiative.

It is part of the KEMRI-University of Liverpool Air Pollution Centre of Excellence, based in KEMRI’s Centre for Respiratory Disease Research in Nairobi, Kenya.

Established with funding from the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research and KEMRI, the Air Pollution Centre of Excellence boasts a cutting-edge air quality measuring and processing facility.

This  partnership conducts research, strengthens health systems, and builds capacity across the five priority nations, with the goal of alleviating the health burden of household and institutional air pollution.

Globally, 3 billion people rely on polluting solid fuels for cooking and heating.

Air pollution from these sources kills 23,000 Kenyans annually and almost 700,000 people across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Women and girls are disproportionately affected due to traditional home responsibilities, time poverty, and the danger of obtaining wood fuel.

These table banks, operating throughout Kenya, assist women in acquiring equipment for clean cooking, heating, and lighting with gas and electricity.

The engaged participants emphasized the detrimental effects of using polluting solid fuels and stressed the importance of transitioning to clean cooking methods.

Mama Doing Good and the Ministry of Health aims to train 2,500 women in table banks by  the end of the year and educate 310,000 women by 2024.

CLEAN-Air (Africa) will then assess the training’s impact on table banks and their communities.

During  the group discussions, Joyful Women acknowledged the issue of air pollution and its health consequences, highlighting the financial burden families bear to address poor health.

Several recommendations were made on how table banks can assist members in acquiring clean cooking equipment.

The national deployment of this training has the potential to significantly contribute to Kenya’s goal of universal access to clean cooking by 2028.