/ On average, women spend 4-6 hours per day over wood fires, often with infants and toddlers nearby.

The problems

Any photo of traditional cooking methods reveals two overarching problems. Most obvious is the heavy smoke, particularly when women cook indoors.

Less visible is the extremely low efficiency: on average, just 20% of heat produced by the fire transfers to the cooking pot. In the case of charcoal, it drops even further as much of the original energy embedded in the wood is combusted in processing.

Both problems lead to a multitude of other direct and indirect impacts such as poor health for women and the children they keep close at hand, and overharvesting of local forest resources.

Nigeria: Smokey Christmas ahead as LPG price continues to surge.

With the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – popularly called cooking gas – soaring, Nigerians look likely to be serving up holiday meals in smoke-filled homes.

Inner city cooking threatens asia's future forests

Aerial photos of Asia’s massive urban slums are noteworthy for a distinct lack of greenery in the vast expanse of tin roofs.

Energy in Armenia fuel wood and deforestation

But they also rely heavily on wood for heating their homes, cooking and doing other household chores. With no natural gas connections and little access to renewable energy sources, they turn to what they see out the window – trees and dung – even as forests disappear before their eyes.

Connect with EnAct on social media channels:


EnAct is a project of ACT 4, a non-profit association registered in France (No. de Siret: 805 036 936 00013) that supports cultural initiatives that raise awareness of and engagement in social issues.


14 blvd Anatole France, 93300 Aubervilliers, France


+33 616 018 932