The EPA grant argues the project is necessary because the population in this region, which lies between the Sahara Desert and the vast Sudanian Savanna, is "projected to continue to grow at alarming rates," meaning more carbon emissions from when Africans cook.
"For this study, we will leverage an existing stove intervention study of 200 households in the region; randomly selected rural households received pairs of improved wood cookstoves," the grant said. "We expand that intervention study to assess stove use behaviors and emissions for an entire year and add urban households and commercial cooking activities."
The researchers will then analyze carbon emissions from "actual cooking events."
"These surveys will be supplemented with direct observations of cooking related behaviors to aide in assessment of time use (e.g., time spent cooking and gathering fuel) as these are not accurately determined through surveys," the grant continued. "Using the next generation of novel, inexpensive air quality monitors, we will continuously monitor concentrations of CO2, CO, NO2, and VOCs in the households throughout the year as well as seasonal subsets of direct emissions measurements from actual cooking events."
The project began last June, and is expected to run until May 2017. The research has cost taxpayers $1.5 million.
The EPA grant said that the goal of the project is to "develop a better understanding of the social, physical, and climatological determinants" of carbon emissions in the region.