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Cablegate: Summary of Responses to Cable On Indoor Air

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #4739 2891811
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161800Z OCT 07
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHAB/AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN PRIORITY 0000
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA PRIORITY 0000
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 0000
RUEHCO/AMEMBASSY COTONOU PRIORITY 0000
RUEHOR/AMEMBASSY GABORONE PRIORITY 0000
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA PRIORITY 0000
RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS PRIORITY 0000
RUEHLS/AMEMBASSY LUSAKA PRIORITY 0000
RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU PRIORITY 0000

UNCLAS STATE 144739

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BC BN ET GH IV NI SENV TBIO UG UV ZA
SUBJECT: SUMMARY OF RESPONSES TO CABLE ON INDOOR AIR
POLLUTION AND FOLLOW-ON ACTIONS

REF: 2006 STATE 192623

1. This is an action request. See Paragraph 3.

SUMMARY

2. SUMMARY: Reftel asked posts in countries where greater
than 20 percent of the population uses biomass and coal to
meet basic energy needs to assess host countries, commitment
to addressing the health concerns posed by indoor air
pollution (IAP) and to identify opportunities for
strengthening U.S. diplomatic outreach on the issue. This
cable provides a synopsis of the responses, identifies
priority countries for outreach, and asks posts to encourage
these countries to join the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air
(PCIA), one of the public-private partnerships launched by
the United States at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable
Development and registered with the UN Commission for
Sustainable Development. END SUMMARY.

3. ACTION REQUEST: Department asks Posts to share information
about PCIA with relevant host government ministries and
agencies (e.g. health, environment, energy, women and
children, economic development) and to encourage them to join
the Partnership. Posts may use the general comments in
Paragraphs 12-16 and also country-specific comments in
Paragraph 17 in developing talking points for their
respective host governments. Department would appreciate
Post's consideration of hosting roundtable meetings for
relevant civil society organizations and government
ministries to encourage awareness about IAP, to introduce
them to PCIA, and to encourage membership in it.
Organizations can register to become a partner on the PCIA
website. Department appreciates Posts, assistance and
support for U.S. efforts to mitigate indoor air pollution and
improve global health. Please contact OES/IHB,s Lindsey
Hillesheim (HillesheimLN@state.gov or 202-647-6922) or Dano
Wilusz (WiluszDC@state.gov or 202-647-6817) with Mission's
response and for any necessary additional background
information.

Department requests a response by November 30, 2007.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

4. Summary (Paragraph 2)
Point of Contact (Paragraph 3)
Synopsis of Responses from 21 Countries (Paragraphs 5-9)
Encouraging Government PCIA Membership (Paragraphs 10-11)
General Background on IAP (Paragraph 12-15)
General Background on PCIA (Paragraph 16)
Country Specific Comments (Paragraph 17)
Further Resources (Paragraph 18)

SYNOPSIS OF RESPONSES TO REFTEL

5. Reftel asked posts in countries where greater than 20
percent of the population uses biomass and coal to meet basic
energy needs to assess host countries, commitment to
addressing the health concerns posed by indoor air pollution
(IAP) and to identify opportunities for strengthening U.S.
diplomatic outreach on the issue. As of June 2007 Department
had received responses from posts in 21 countries. These 21
countries represent approximately 50% of the estimated 3
billion people who burn solid fuel for cooking and heating.
While the content and depth of individual responses varied
significantly, we were able to make conclusions in four
areas: host government commitment; ministry responsibility;
public and non-governmental activities related to IAP; and
host government interest in the Partnership for Clean Indoor
Air (PCIA), one of the public-private partnerships launched
by the United States at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable
Development and registered with the UN Commission for
Sustainable Development. Since 2003, PCIA partner
organizations have succeeded in influencing 1.31 million
households to adopt clean and efficient cooking and/or
heating practices; resulting in 11 million with reduced
exposure to harmful indoor air pollution. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coordinates PCIA and
leads USG efforts within it.

6. GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT: Host government commitment to
reducing indoor air pollution and the negative health effects
associated with it varied considerably. Approximately half
of the response cables could not identify any government
action plan, besides further study, to address indoor air
pollution. Approximately one-quarter of the cables noted
that host government officials in relevant ministries did not
think IAP was a major problem in their country.

7. MINISTRY RESPONSIBILITY: Government ministries responsible
for indoor air pollution varied significantly from country to
country. About three-quarters of responding posts reported
that they were referred to the Ministry of Environment and
one-quarter to the Ministry of Health. Approximately
three-quarters reported that they were referred to multiple
agencies. It seems likely that ambiguous ministerial
responsibility contributes to government inaction on indoor
air pollution in some cases.

8. INDOOR AIR POLLUTION INTERVENTIONS: Posts highlighted many
important public and private country-level efforts aimed at
reducing indoor air pollution from solid fuel use.
Approximately half of the responses indicated that private or
government projects to distribute improved cooking stoves had
taken place in the host country. Approximately half also
indicated that host countries have had private or government
projects to encourage cleaner alternative fuels. However, it
is important to note that the vast majority of intervention
projects were carried out by private organizations and not by
the host governments. Almost no responses reported private or
government projects to educate people about the significant
and negative health impacts due to IAP.

9. PCIA INTEREST: Six of twenty-one host governments were
members previously or have joined the Partnership. Another
one-quarter said that host governments were interested in
learning more.

ENCOURAGING GOVERNMENTS TO JOIN PCIA

10. One quarter of respondents indicated that host
governments are interested in learning more about PCIA.
Increased government participation in PCIA has the potential
to raise awareness about environmental health issues and to
increase international action dedicated to reducing the
health effects of indoor air pollution related to solid fuel
use. The USG provides a substantial portion of the funding
and human resources required to maintain the PCIA, and the
Partnership's capacity to address the negative health and
environmental consequences of solid fuel use for household
energy will grow with its membership base. In addition to
receiving notices for grants and Requests for Proposals
(RFPs), PCIA members also receive information about free
in-depth technical training in community outreach and
education, stove development and performance, market
development, and exposure monitoring. Another benefit of PCIA
membership is direct exchange, both regionally and globally,
between users/cooks, researchers, entrepreneurs, project
implementers, programs directors, and policy makers.

11. The Department and PCIA coordinators from EPA's Office of
Air and Radiation have used the responses to identify
relevant government ministries to be encouraged to join PCIA,
as well as those governments that are already PCIA members
who we would like to deepen their involvement in the
partnership. Criteria for selecting these governments
include: (1) high burden of disease from indoor air
pollution, (2) capacity to join and benefit from membership,
(3) willingness to partner with the PCIA, and (4) involvement
of international donors in national indoor air pollution
programs within that country.

GENERAL BACKGROUND ON INDOOR AIR POLLUTION

12. HEALTH EFFECTS: Indoor air pollution is caused by cooking
and heating with wood, dung, coal and other solid fuels on
open fires or simple stoves. IAP is a daily reality for more
than half of the world's population and kills over 1.6
million people each year, making IAP the second biggest
environmental contributor to ill health behind unsafe water
and sanitation. The majority of those deaths occur in
sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, where 396,000 and
483,000 people are estimated to die from exposure to IAP each
year, respectively. Worldwide, 1.2 million of the 1.6 million
annual deaths due to IAP occur in just eleven countries:
Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, China, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria,
Pakistan and the United Republic of Tanzania. The smoke
produced by solid fuel combustion in fires or stoves contains
health-damaging pollutants including carbon monoxide, human
carcinogens, and fine particles that penetrate deep into the
lungs. These pollutants cause inflammation of the airways and
lungs, impair the immune system, and reduce the
oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. The result is a
significantly increased susceptibility to pneumonia in
children and chronic respiratory disease among adults.
Globally, pneumonia and other respiratory infections are the
single greatest cause of death in children under five. Women
exposed to indoor smoke are three times as likely to suffer
from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than women
who cook and heat with electricity, gas or other cleaner
fuels. Because of gender norms in many societies women are in
charge of cooking and, depending on the local cuisine, spend
between three and seven hours per day near the stove. Young
children are often carried on their mother's backs or kept
close to the hearth. Thus indoor air pollution
disproportionately affects women and children, and in 2002,
is estimated to have resulted in 500,000 deaths among women
and 800,000 deaths among children under five years of age.

13. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS: Demand for the fuel that produces
IAP causes severe land degradation and desertification in
many of the world's poorest countries. For example,
according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO),
many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have lost three quarters
or more of their forest covers to deforestation. Such
resource depletion threatens food security, which, in turn,
can upset national and regional political stability.

14. GENDER INEQUALITY: In many countries women's domestic
responsibilities make them disproportionately exposed to IAP.
Many women must spend several hours per day collecting fuel
for cooking and heating; a recent study found that women in
Nigeria and Ethiopia spend on average more than two hours per
day collecting fuel. Alleviating this time burden would free
women's time for childcare, education, and income-generating
activities. Women also bear the brunt of IAP-induced disease.
For example WHO reports that each year IAP kills fewer than
200,000 men but over 500,000 women. The fight against gender
inequality is one key element of the 2002 Millennium
Declaration signed by the USG and 188 other nations.
15. ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS: A recent WHO report, "Fuel for
Life", estimates that making improved stoves available to
half of those still burning biomass fuels and coal on
traditional stoves would save USD 34 billion in fuel
expenditure every year, and generate an economic return of
USD 105 billion every year over a 10 year period. The report
also suggests that halving the number of people worldwide
cooking with solid fuels by 2015 would cost a total of USD 13
billion per year but would provide an economic benefit of USD
91 billion per year. The majority of these costs are borne
at the household level since donor investments are used to
design appropriate technologies, set up local businesses, and
put micro-credit systems in place. However, the majority of
the benefits also occur at the household level. Addressing
household energy needs through the introduction of improved
cook stoves not only reduces rates of illness and death but
also means that household members spend less time
recuperating from illness, caring for sick family members,
collecting fuel, and cooking. With more time available,
children may be in a better position to take advantage of
educational opportunities, while their mothers could engage
in childcare, agriculture or other income-generating
activities as a way to break the cycle of poverty.
GENERAL BACKGROUND ON PCIA

16. The Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, an Administration
initiative launched at the World Summit on Sustainable
Development in Johannesburg in September 2002, addresses the
environmental health risk faced by three billion people who
burn traditional biomass fuels indoors for cooking and
heating. This voluntary Partnership brings together
governments, public and private organizations, multilateral
institutions, industry, and others to increase the use of
affordable, reliable, clean, efficient, and safe home cooking
and heating practices. The mission of the Partnership for
Clean Indoor Air is to improve health, livelihood and quality
of life by reducing exposure to air pollution, primarily
among women and children, from household energy use. More
information on PCIA can be found at:
http://www.pciaonline.org

COUNTRY SPECIFIC COMMENTS

17. The following country-specific information responds to
points raised in the individual country response cables or
provides country-specific information that could be useful in
raising awareness with host governments on the health,
environmental, economic and gender-based consequences of IAP
and recruiting host governments to join PCIA. One upcoming
opportunity is the PCIA Africa Regional Workshop &Measuring
Change: Indoor Air Pollution and Household Energy
Monitoring8 to be held in Pretoria, South Africa October 29
) November 2, 2007. Participants will learn about commonly
used approaches and techniques for monitoring the impact of
household energy interventions, and develop a monitoring plan
for their program.

** COUNTRIES NOT CURRENTLY PCIA MEMBERS **

A. Benin (COTONOU 186): WHO estimates that Benin's national
burden of disease attributable to solid fuel use is 6.8%, and
accounts for 6000 deaths per year among children under five
years of age. GOB has expressed interest in IAP and the
partnership, but is not currently a member of PCIA.

B. Botswana (GABORONE 133): It appears that at least two GOB
ministries are directly or indirectly working on IAP. These
ministries could benefit from PCIA membership (both can
join). The Energy Affairs Department in the Ministry of
Minerals, Water and Energy Resources (MEWR) indicated that
commonly-practiced outdoor cooking negated the health effects
of IAP. However studies have shown that women and their
children standing close to an outdoor cooking fire are
exposed to dangerously high levels of fine particles, carbon
monoxide and human carcinogens. Furthermore outdoor fires
are often inefficient, and the collection of fuel wood
contributes to increased deforestation. WHO estimates that
Botswana's national burden of disease attributable to solid
fuel use is 0.40%, and accounts for 100 deaths per year among
children under five years of age and 200 deaths total. 65% of
Botswana's population uses solid fuels.

C. Burkina Faso: In 2006, EPA sponsored a regional stove
design and performance workshop to train more than 20 stove
makers (project managers, tin smiths, metal workers, stove
builders, ceramists) from Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali and
Benin on the design and construction of household and
institutional clean burning and fuel-efficient &rocket8
stoves. The workshop was co-sponsored by PREDAS/CILSS the
Promotion of Household and Alternative Energies in the Sahel
and the Permanent Inter State Committee for Drought Control
in the Sahel. WHO estimates that Burkina Faso,s national
burden of disease attributable to solid fuel use is 8.5%, and
accounts for 21000 deaths per year in children under five
years of age. Greater than 95% of Burkina Faso,s population
uses solid fuels. Women in Burkina Faso spend an average of
2.5 hours per day collecting fuel, putting them at increased
risk of gender-based violence.

D. Cote d,Ivoire (ABIDJAN 99): GOC has indicated an interest
in PCIA. The Center for Anti-Pollution in Cote d'Ivoire
(CIAPOL) seems to be focused on testing outdoor air pollution
rather than indoor air pollution mitigation projects; thus it
may be worth reaching out to officials in health, rural
energy, and deforestation as well. WHO estimates that Cote
d,Ivoire,s national burden of disease attributable to solid
fuel use is 3.4%, and accounts for 8000 deaths per year in
children under five years of age. 74% of Cote d,Ivoire,s
population uses solid fuels.

E. Nigeria (LAGOS 239): WHO estimates that Nigeria's national
burden of disease attributable to solid fuel use is 3.8%, and
accounts for 70,000 deaths per year among children under five
years of age and 79,000 deaths per year total. Nigeria is
among the group of eleven nations that account for the vast
majority of world-wide deaths caused by IAP. Greater than 95%
of Nigerians use solid fuels for cooking and heating. Delta
State is a member of PCIA and the partnership would welcome
other Nigerian states but is particularly interested in GON
involvement at the federal level.

F. Uganda (KAMPALA 172): WHO estimates that Uganda's national
burden of disease attributable to solid fuel use is 4.9%, and
accounts for 18,000 deaths per year among children under five
years of age. In addition, Ugandan women spend an average of
2 hours per day collecting fuel, putting them at increased
risk of gender-based violence. The time spent gathering fuel
wood could be used for more productive activities such as
childcare, education and income-generation. GOU is not a PCIA
member. Greater than 95% of Ugandans use solid fuels. EPA
has funded a highly successful pilot project in Kampala with
the Urban Community Development Association, which has
resulted in more than 8,000 homes adopting clean and
fuel-efficient stoves.

G. Zambia (LUSAKA 87): WHO estimates that Zambia's national
burden of disease attributable to solid fuel use is 3.8%, and
accounts for 8000 deaths per year among children under five
years of age. 70% of Zambians use solid fuels. The GOZ
Environmental Council of Zambia, as well as agencies
responsible for health and/or house-hold energy, could
benefit from membership in PCIA.

** PCIA MEMBER COUNTRIES **

H. Ethiopia (ADDIS ABABA 495): WHO estimates that Ethiopia's
national burden of disease attributable to solid fuel use is
4.9%, and accounts for 50,000 deaths per year among children
under five years of age. Ethiopia is among the eleven nations
that account for the vast majority of world-wide deaths
caused by IAP. In addition, Ethiopian women spend an average
of 3 hours per day collecting fuel, putting them at increased
risk of gender-based violence. Greater than 95% of Ethiopians
use solid fuels. The GOE,s Ethiopian Rural Energy
Development and Promotion Center (EREDPC) is a member of
PCIA. We would like to see GOE to take a more active role in
the partnership and in raising regional awareness for the
health, environmental, economic and gender-based consequences
of IAP. EPA is in the process of awarding a grant to Project
Gaia to introduce 17,000 Clean Cook ethanol stoves into
condominium developments for low-middle income families
previously living in some of the poorest and most run down,
slum neighborhoods of Addis Ababa. Clean Cook ethanol stoves
will also be sold to the UNHCR for use in refugee camps in
Ethiopia. This program will be run in partnership with
Makobu Enterprises PLC, Dometic AB, Finchaa Sugar Company,
Addis Ababa City Government and the Municipal Environmental
Protection Agency.

I. Ghana (ACCRA 194): The Environmental Protection Agency of
Ghana is currently a PCIA member. Wisdom Ahiataku from the
Ministry of Energy in Ghana was a panelist during a
PCIA-sponsored side-event at the 16th session of the UN
Commission for Sustainable Development on May 7, 2007. WHO
estimates that Ghana's national burden of disease
attributable to solid fuel use is 2.2%, and accounts for 4000
deaths per year among children under five years of age. 87%
of Ghana's population uses solid fuels. GOG could be
encouraged to take a more active role in the partnership and
raising regional awareness for the health, environmental,
economic and gender-based consequences of IAP. EPA recently
awarded a grant to EnterpriseWorks/Ghana to expand the
availability of 98,000 cleaner burning wood and charcoal
Gyapa stoves to 686,000 people living in major urban centers
of greater Accra, in the Brong Ahafo region of Western and
Central Ghana. The Gyapa wood stove has documented fuel
savings of 60% and Gyapa charcoal stove has savings of 40%.

18. FURTHER RESOURCES:
USG,s Sustainable Development Partnerships website
http://www.sdp.gov
WHO General information on IAP
http://www.who.int/indoorair/en/
Fuel for Life report
http://www.who.int/indoorair/publications/fue lforlife/
en/index.html
WHO National burden of disease estimates for IAP
http://www.who.int/indoorair/publications/nat ionalburden/
en/index.html
Partnership for Clean Indoor Air resources
http://www.pciaonline.org/resources.cfm
RICE

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