Environmental Impacts and Policy Responses to Covid-19: A View from Latin America

Submitted by César Salazar on 14 July 2020

COVID-19 is currently having major short run effects with possible serious long run implications for the environment and the management of natural resources in Latin America. We discuss the possible effects of the pandemic on air pollution, deforestation and other relevant environmental dimensions across the region. With contributions from environmental economists from eight countries, we give an overview of the initial and expected environmental effects of this health crisis.

Air Quality, Energy, Health, Policy Design

Implementation and scale-up of a biomass pellet and improved cookstove enterprise in Rwanda

Submitted by Stephanie Scott on 29 June 2020

This paper reviews the experience of a for-profit firm in Rwanda promoting biomass pellets and a fan micro-gasification improved cookstove as a clean cooking alternative to charcoal. Consumers purchase locally produced biomass pellets and receive the improved cookstove on a lease basis. The cost of the pellets and stove(s) is lower than the cost of cooking with charcoal in the urban setting where our study takes place. Inyenyeri has been piloting its business model since 2012.

Energy, Health

Household Air Pollution (HAP), Microenvironment and Child Health: Strategies for Mitigating HAP Exposure in Urban Rwanda

Submitted by Stephanie Scott on 29 June 2020

Exposure to household air pollution (HAP) from cooking and heating with solid fuels is major risk factor for morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Children under five are particularly at risk for acute lower respiratory infection. We use baseline data from randomized controlled trial evaluating a household energy intervention in Gisenyi, Rwanda to investigate the role of the microenvironment as a determinant of children's HAP-related health symptoms. Our sample includes 529 households, with 694 children under five.

Energy, Health

COVID-19 and Handwashing: Implications for Water Use in Sub-Saharan Africa 20-18

Submitted by Samuel Wakuma on 18 June 2020

Because the main modes of transmission of the COVID-19 virus are respiration and contact, WHO recommends frequent washing of hands with soap under running water for at least 20 seconds. This article investigates how the level of concern about COVID-19 affects the likelihood of washing hands frequently in sub-Saharan Africa. The study makes use of a unique survey dataset from 12 sub-Saharan African countries collected in April 2020 (first round) and May 2020 (second round) and employs an extended ordered probit model with an endogenous covariate.

Health, Water

Climate variability and infectious diseases nexus: Evidence from Sweden

Submitted by Samuel Wakuma on 18 May 2020

Many studies on the link between climate variability and infectious diseases are based on biophysical experiments, do not account for socio-economic factors and with little focus on developed countries. This study examines the effect of climate variability and socio-economic variables on infectious diseases using data from all 21 Swedish counties. Employing static and dynamic modelling frameworks, we observe that temperature has a linear negative effect on the number of patients.

Climate Change, Health

Climate Change and Variability in Ghana: Stocktaking

Submitted by Samuel Wakuma on 18 May 2020

This paper provides a holistic literature review of climate change and variability in Ghana by examining the impact and projections of climate change and variability in various sectors (agricultural, health and energy) and its implication on ecology, land use, poverty and welfare. The findings suggest that there is a projected high temperature and low rainfall in the years 2020, 2050 and 2080, and desertification is estimated to be proceeding at a rate of 20,000 hectares per annum. Sea-surface temperatures will increase in Ghana’s waters and this will have drastic effects on fishery.

Agriculture, Climate Change, Energy, Health

Social Protection and Vulnerability to Nutrition Security among Male and Female Headed Households in Ethiopia 20-05

Submitted by Eugenia Leon on 13 May 2020

This study examines the role of Ethiopia’s productive safety net program (PSNP) and its modes of benefit transfer in vulnerability to nutritional outcomes among female- and male-headed households

Gender, Health