Nandi, Kenya has been experiencing high rates of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) among women which is causing heart failure. This COPD is due to poor ventilation in their kitchens because of the use of biomass cookstoves which emit dangerous particles such as PM2.5 filling their bloodstreams and lungs. The Engineering Project Community Service (EPICS) is a program full of teams designed to pair up with communities to work with. The Global Air Quality Trekkers (GAQT) undergraduate team has decided to take this serious matter into their hands to help improve the lives of suffering and innocent people. In Nandi, the women in the community have already recognized the problem and have started to modify some of the houses by adding in chimneys, raising the roof to form a gap, adding windows, and other modifications. The ventilation has improved but it could be improved even more. GAQT is working with the Nandi community, Moi University and AMPATH to achieve their goal to help modify cook stove in kitchen structures even more to help ventilation so the COPD rates will decrease and potentially lead to better health for the Nandi people.
This project will benefit the community by improving the ventilation in the homes of the Nandi people thus potentially leading to better health. This will help to decrease the high rates of deaths due to COPD.
This project is important because it allows us to work with the Nandi culture to create a design that will improve the ventilation in the kitchens that are already based on the modifications that the Nandi women have created. From this we can satisfy not only the culture aspects but also take care of an environmental problem. The effect of our project will then lead to better health affects for the people in a community where indoor air pollution is very concentrated.
From our trip to Kenya we have collected a numerous amount of data. Using this data, we can then recreate the kitchens in CAD and do research to understand how to modify them. We can then put them through simulations to test how much the ventilation has improved. By the end of the semester we hope to achieve the ability to come up with a final design with the best ventilation that we can then present to Joe Mamlin, our project partner, so that we can then start modifying the traditional kitchens in Kenya with our design.