Health costs of dung cake fuel use by the poor in rural Nepal

Type Journal Article - South Asia Network of Economic Research Institutes
Title Health costs of dung cake fuel use by the poor in rural Nepal
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Large proportions of rural poor in South Asia are s
till using animal dung-cake as a cooking
fuel. The use of dung fuel is believed to deteriora
te health but precise results are not available
for policy making. The study assessed the health ef
fects of using dung as the cooking fuel,
estimated the household health costs of dung fuel u
se and compared with the price of
alternative cooking fuel the biogas. It explored th
e factors affecting the household decisions
to use dung as the cooking fuel. The data were gene
rated from survey of 331 rural households
using dung-cake fuel and biogas. The sample househo
lds were selected using systematic
sampling with random start from seven villages in K
apilvastu district in Southern Nepal. The
results are scaled-up to the national level using h
ousehold level data of National Living
Standard Survey 2003/04 for 3912 households. Probit
regressions were used to find marginal
effects and odd ratios of dung fuel use on health o
f inhabitants and also to explore the factors
affecting use of dung-cake fuel. The study quantifi
ed the health costs of dung fuel and found
that the health cost is much higher than the price
of alternative fuel the biogas. The study
recommends some policy measures to reduce the dung-
cake fuel use.

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