Nigeria Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (NACC) in collaboration with other major stakeholders in environment, power and energy sectors in Nigeria such as Federal Ministry of Environment (FME), International Center for Environment and Energy Development (ICEED), Shell, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves among others have held yet another forum on Clean Cooking Energy in Abuja today with the theme “Clean Cooking Energy for All in Nigeria – Repositioning a Common Cause”.
The events which had in attendance policymakers such as Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Chairman Senate Committee on Environment and
Climate Change, Hon Obinna Chidoka, House Committee on Environment, Amina Mohammed, Minister, Federal Ministry of Environment, representatives from various agencies, private sectors, leaders, foundations, research institutions, women groups and civil society stakeholders as well as international partners brought together to deliberate and seek ways to make clean cooking energy accessible and affordable for all Nigerians.
According to the Honourable Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, while giving her opening remarks she said that the essence of the Forum was to review existing policies and practices, address lessons learned, understand gaps to be filled and opportunities to be accessed in making available Clean Cooking Energy to all Nigerians living both rural and urban centres to curb the traditional method (firewood) for cooking which has been said to be harmful to human’s well being, thereby reducing carbon footprint and the effects of climate change in Nigeria.
“Several findings have revealed that 95,000 Nigerian die every year as a result of complications from smoke generated by the firewood and other unsafe method of cooking at various homes. Therefore the importance of a Forum such as this, is to develop strategies, not to formulate new policies but rather to seek better ways of implementing the already existing policies which would lead to the creation of better alternatives to ensure safer and clean cooking method which would ultimately translate to rapid development that would leave no one behind” she alluded.
Mohammed further enlightened the participants on how collective efforts of every citizen could expedite the implementation of these policies regardless of the current issues involved in the use of firewood and biomass for cooking and provision of affordable alternatives for the citizens.
Chairman, Senator Committee on Environment, Hon Senator Oluremi Tinubu who was amongt the panelist stressed the need to also prioritize the sustainability of these clean cookstoves energy, LPG, and other alternatives as it may just be a counterproductive efforts if there are no structure in place to sustain them.
“We, at the Senate would have to strongly assess the sustainability of these alternative clean cookstoves, therefore it would be a good consideration to include this in the 2017 budget”. she affirmed.
Folake Salawu, Gender Programme Officer, ICEED who gave brilliant presentation on the negative impacts of unsafe traditional method of cooking by the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Malkoi Camp in Adamawa State. Salawu said currently there is stiff competition between the Host Communities and the IDPs for the firewood within the community.
“Most times we give food to these IDPs but we often forget to give them what to cook these food with, this
has caused them to scout for firewood within the Host Communities for cooking, which may lead to another conflict if alternatives are not provided as the Host Communities are beginning to perceive them as threat to their limited resources”
Folake shared that to alleviated the suffering of these IDPs, ICEED has deemed it fit to train 100 IDPs on how to make Clay Stoves for cooking instead of using firewood.
“This way, we have been able to empower them while trying to provide them with basic needs” she said.
She added that Australia High Commission, having seen the positive impacts of this laudable empowerment project has pledged to support the initiative for another 1 year. This is to ensure that more IDPs benefit from the project while we also reduce environmental degradation as well as negative impacts of unsafe cooking within the IDPs camps in the North East.