Household air pollution (HAP) poses a substantial threat to the health of the world’s poor. Over half of the world’s population still cooks with solid-fuel – including wood, dung, coal or agricultural residues – on poorly functioning traditional stoves or open fires. As a result, an estimated 1 billion people, mostly women and children, are exposed to high household air pollution levels that harm their health and livelihoods. Improved cookstoves, which burn fuel more cleanly and efficiently than traditional cooking methods, have the potential to reduce the effects of indoor air pollution. However, using improved cookstoves requires significant behavior change. TRAction supports three research projects focused on increasing the adoption of improved cookstoves.
Today, around 780 million people do not have access to clean drinking water, and 2.5 billion people live without access to improved sanitation. This lack of basic services results in many health problems around the world, such as diarrhea. In many parts of the world, supposedly improved sources of drinking water have poor water quality and are unreliable. Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is also important for good nutrition. Gastrointestinal infections caused by poor WASH conditions may reduce the ability of the stomach to absorb nutrients, causing stunting and malnutrition. With urban populations growing quickly, the availability of clean water and proper sanitation facilities in high density population settings is increasingly important. TRAction is supporting research on how population density affects WASH interventions and efforts.