This musician's quest is for clean cookstoves

The World
Rocky Dawuni

Ghanaian reggae musician Rocky Dawuni will be in Paris for the ongoing climate change summit. He's there to raise awareness about the need for "clean cookstoves." 

In his native Ghana — as in many parts of the world — a kitchen consists of three stones with a wood or charcoal fire below, and a pot on top to cook in. This set up is deadly, both enviromentally and physically. 

"Every day you see the situation," Dawuni says. "The women go to gather firewood, they come home to cook for their families. And then you see the smoke below and people coughing ... and then we all shrug it off as something that is no big deal." 

But as Dawuni points out, cooking this way is a big deal

According to the World Health Organization, the most recent estimates from 2012 show there were 4.3 million household deaths due to cooking over coal, wood and biomass stoves. 

And chopping down all the trees to fuel those stoves is having a devastating effect on forests.

Follow all of our coverage of the Paris talks and the global climate crisis

Because of this alarming statistic, Dawuni often goes back to Ghana to help his people build better cookstoves; ones that don't use as much wood and produce less pollution.

"Cooking is a joyful thing," he says. "[But] there is a certain cost to it." 

Dawuni is optimistic that new more environmentally friendly cookstoves are the solution. "People all of the sudden are beginning to wake up ... and scaling [the stoves] up to make it financial viable to attract new investors and new entrepreneurs from the bottom of the pyramid. And so I feel wholesomely it's a great idea."

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