Project Gaia wins indoor air pollution (IAP) award

The award was given in recognition of Project Gaia’s dedication, commitment, and investment in demonstrating the impact of household energy interventions and in improving peoples’ health, livelihood, and quality of life by reducing IAP.

At its third Biennial Forum, held March 20–23, 2007, in Bangalore, India, the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) bestowed upon Project Gaia the Indoor Air Pollution Monitoring and Evaluation Award. Given in both recognition and appreciation of Project Gaia’s dedication, commitment and investment in not only demonstrating the impact of household energy interventions, but in improving peoples’ health, livelihood and quality of life by reducing IAP, the award acknowledges more than two years’ work in scientifically capturing the effect of the introduction of ethanol for household use. Milkyas Debebe, Managing Director, received the award on behalf of Project Gaia.

Specifically, Project Gaia has been analyzing emissions both prior to and during the introduction of the CleanCook stove, a clean-burning ethanol-based stove; testing has occurred in households in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa as well as in homes within various United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee camps. Acquiring data on carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM), over 100 samples to date have been collected and analyzed with the assistance of the Center for Entrepreneurship in International Health and Development (CEIHD); the results have been quite impressive.

For example, for households in Addis Ababa, which are primarily dependent on kerosene and charcoal, average PM2.5 levels (a measure of the twenty particles which get into the lungs) over a 48-hour period fell by an average of 72.9%, while the average maximum dropped by 41.56%. Average carbon monoxide concentrations over the 48-hour monitoring period also fell by roughly the same percentage to those of PM2.5—70.40%. Results from the refugee camps, where the primary fuel is fuelwood, have been similarly significant. (News from HEDON Household Energy)