Indoor air pollution is a widespread environmental health challenge sub-Saharan Africa and is the leading cause of premature death in many sub-Saharan African countries. This pollution is primarily caused by the burning of biomass fuels inside an enclosed kitchen in order to provide heat for cooking. Global Air Quality Trekkers is an undergraduate engineering team within the EPICS department at Purdue that began in fall 2016. Our objective is to create a kitchen design that utilizes natural ventilation to mitigate the amount of air pollutants present in these kitchens, specifically in the Nandi community of Western Kenya. This year, our goal is to analyze the ability of nine different kitchen designs to reduce the amount of air pollution present. After this semester, the team will be traveling to Nandi, a community that has already begun to use these modified kitchens. After conducting research this semester on our West Lafayette test kitchen, we will be able to determine the most effective kitchen designs and share this with our project partners in Nandi. Additionally, we will be analyzing the effectiveness of different types of kitchens in Nandi, conducting surveys within the community regarding the new kitchen designs, and teaching an engineering module at the Tumaini school in Nairobi, Kenya. Overall, our hope is that these new kitchen designs will be adopted by more members of the community. These designs have the potential to improve the health of women and children, who are at risk for diseases such as COPD and pneumonia after many years of woodsmoke inhalation. Ultimately, our goal is for these designs to spread to other areas of Kenya, and improve the health of the people who live there.
Dykhuis, Samantha; Schiavo, Stephanie; and Senefeld, Avalin
"Global Air Quality Trekkers: Nandi Clean Kitchen Study,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 7
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol7/iss1/19