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Daycare kitchen in Soweto settlement

COVID-19 has had interacting effects on cooking and fuel use. The types and amount of foods cooked, the person doing the cooking, and the fuels used—all have changed to varying degrees.

COVID-19’s Impact on the Transition to Clean Cooking Fuels: Initial Findings from a Case Study in Rural Kenya

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified household preferences for convenience and affordability, presenting challenges as well as opportunities for the transition to clean cooking fuels. Initial findings from a case study conducted in rural Kenya suggest that the pandemic and lockdown have altered household cooking practices and fuel-use patterns.

Households in the study’s intervention group used domestically produced biogas; those in the control group, chiefly wood, supplemented by liquefied petroleum gas and charcoal. Independent access to biogas insulated the intervention group from fluctuations in fuel prices and limits on access, while encouraging adoption.

As recovery begins, the right policies can speed the transition to clean cooking fuels. Poor households—those most affected by the pandemic but least equipped to recover from its effects—will need the greatest support.

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