Kenyans urged to embrace use of friendly cooking stoves to avert carbon monoxide related deaths-

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021 00:58 |

Following a sharp rise in carbon monoxide related deaths, Kenyans have been urged to embrace environmentally friendly jikos for heating and cooking at their homes.

According to Ronald Arao, the commercial director for Burn Manufacturing, a leading cookstove(jikokoa) company based in Ruiru that offers a range of clean cooking solutions, thousands of people die yearly in Africa alone due toinhalation of carbon monoxide emitted by burning charcoal.

He regretted that the poisonous gas kills more than some notable illnesses such as Malaria and to some extent Covid-19 and thereby urged for caution among Jiko users.

Arao urged Kenyans to embrace cooking stoves that emit less than 60 percent smoke thereby reducing the rate of carbon in the environment.

Speaking today after the factory marked a historic milestone of selling one million clean cooking stoves, and impacting more than five million lives while saving its customers more than 30 billion Kenya Shillings through reduced charcoal costs, Arao reiterated that Kenya has solutions for all its challenges.

“We have been striving to bring health benefits to our customers to avert scenarios of them dying from carbon related gases,” he said.

His remarks concurred with World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recent report that depicted concentration of carbon monoxide is high near street intersections, in congested traffic, near exhaust gases from internal combustion engines, poorly ventilated areas and industrial sources.

In Kenya, the unseen silent killer leaves people with an innate desire to keep warm behind closed doors during the cold weather dead due to toxic effects to the circulation system after it is inhaled.

On January 1, grief hit Githurai village of Ruiru constituency in Kiambu County after a family of five succumbed to inhalation of the poisonous gas emitted by a jiko that was warming them.

The young family residing in a poorly ventilated single-roomed house was found having been warmed to a painless death in what police blamed for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Meanwhile, David Burton, the Jikokoa company operations manager noted that most of their raw materials and labour is locally sourced and revealed plans for the firm’s rigorous expansion noting that currently, over 50 percent of their employees are women.

“We have a long term program to improve our local content. We produce locally for all countries across the world. Currently, we have been doing added value for all our raw materials here and we look forward to more improvement,” said Burton.

Paul Muthui, the quality control manager for the company however regretted that their products have been hit by growing counterfeits in countries within the horn of Africa such as Somalia.

“While our products are hard to imitate locally, we have been enduring serious challenges in areas such as Somalia where counterfeit is a huge thing. We are forced to continually work on trademarking and patenting our brands to counter the challenge,” noted Muthui.

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