RAHIM ABAS KIOBYA
Data for Local Impact, an initiative by Geospatial Tanzania, is an innovative program aimed at addressing the risk that climate change can have on public health.
Every year Tanzania loses 375,000 hectares of forests to the production of charcoal and firewood. These two materials are frequently used for cooking at home. Their use not only affects the quality of the air we breathe outdoors, but it also causes household air pollution, which has very dangerous consequences. This type of pollution is the single most important environmental health risk factor worldwide. It causes 4.3 million premature deaths each year. Of those deaths, 3.8 million are caused by noncommunicable diseases: household air pollution is estimated to cause 25% of all deaths from stroke, 15% of deaths from ischaemic heart disease, 17% of deaths from lung cancer, and more than 33% of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in low- and middle-income countries.
Women and children are at particularly high risk of disease from exposure to household air pollution: 60% of all premature deaths attributed to household air pollution occur in women and children.
My project consists on three components. Firstly, we gather data from health organizations and we analyze the data geographically to understand the extent to which people are suffering from diseases related to household air pollution. Secondly, we collaborate with other stakeholders who work on climate change adaptation and mitigation and we set up community campaigns to curb the cutting of trees for the production of hardwood charcoals and firewood. Lastly, we promote the use of clean household energy as a replacement for solid fuels so as to reduce the effects of indoor air pollution.