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Dr Daniel Pope, from the University’s Department of Public Health, has attended the launch of a new community finance initiative in Cameroon that will help poor households purchase Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG).
The initiative offers a six month loan to help poor households who want to use LPG purchase the equipment and Dr Pope and his team will help evaluate the scheme.
The launch took place in the Batoke community, South West Cameroon on Friday 24th February and was attended by the chief of Batoke and chiefs from nearby communities, representatives from government ministries, a community microfinance group, senior GLPGP executives and the research team.
Run in partnership with a local LPG marketer and the Cameroon Ministries of Energy and Development, the introduction of the scheme has been enthusiastically received and Dr Pope was interviewed by a number of local news outlets at the launch event.
Dr Pope said: “The microloan pilot provides a fantastic opportunity to investigate how community led microfinance can help economically disadvantaged households switch from polluting wood fuel to clean modern fuel to improve the health of women and children in Cameroon.”
Recent research by the University found that an important barrier to the adoption of LPG in poorer rural communities was the prohibitive expense of buying the equipment (cylinder, regulator, hose and stove) needed to use gas.
The University is also studying the enablers to achieve large population shifts from traditional polluting fuels to LPGs and this includes testing initiatives designed to help households (especially from poorer, rural communities) make the switch.
Household air pollution from the use of solid fuel, primarily for cooking, results in almost three million premature deaths annually and 8.4% of the overall Global Burden of Disease from pneumonia in children and lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and stroke in adults.
In Cameroon 70% of the population rely on solid fuel and more than 90% in rural areas. The government has an aspirational goal to increase adoption of liquefied petroleum gas from 10% of the population to almost 60% by 2035 and is working with us and our research partner (the Global LPG Partnership) to achieve this goal.
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