“Kerosene, a burning issue in human rights”

This article from Kristine Pearson of Lifeline Energy discusses how lack of electricity in Africa has dangerous results for the women who must rely on kerosene for lighting and cooking.

“Exposure to kerosene is retarding economic progress, causing asphyxiation, poisoning children, creating deadly fires, horrific burns and injuries, and even death.  This fuel is silently destroying the lives and livelihoods of countless women and children across Africa…

“Kerosene is a “woman’s fuel” in sub-Saharan Africa. In rural areas a woman must can walk many miles to buy kerosene at the market. In urban settlements or slums, she buys it in as little as 10c increments or by the tablespoon, as it’s all that she may be able to afford.  Because of women’s work inside the home, they are constantly exposed to kerosene and its toxic fumes…

“[S]olutions already exist. Barriers to the effective delivery of modern energy services must be eliminated. Off-grid portable renewable energy solar and wind-up LED lights and lanterns, as well as energy-efficient cook stoves have been developed for these markets. However, often steep duties… [make] them unaffordable to the poorest – those who need them most. With appropriate government oversight and financial support, reform of subsidies and duties and equal gender participation in entrepreneurial initiatives transitioning from kerosene to renewable energy would be the start to create safer environments and economic opportunities.”

Read the full article: http://lifelineenergy.org/blog/2011/07/kerosene-a-burning-issue-in-human-rights/

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