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Clean cookstoves: Australia empowers IDPs in Adamawa

The Australian High Commission, in partnership with the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED), has provided institutional clean cookstoves to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Malkohi and Fufore camps in Adamawa State. This is the second time in two years the High Commission is providing the much needed support in expanding access to safe fuels and energy for IDPs in the state.

Making the stoves

According to ICEED, the initiative has built the capacity of over 200 IDPs including women and youths in the state on efficient household and institutional woodstoves production, installation and sales. The stoves, produced using locally sourced raw materials, are said to significantly reduce emissions of harmful gases compared to the traditional three-stone stoves.

ICEED added in a statement made available to EnviroNews on Monday, July 24, 2017 that firewood consumption with the new stoves is reduced by about 60%, thus making a rather significant saving on cost of cooking fuel. The cooks have reportedly achieved better health as a result of less exposure to smoke, just as the introduction of the stoves are said to have made the IDPS a significant agent in the fight against deforestation and climate change.

Hauwa Ali, chief cook in Malkohi camp, was quoted in the statement as saying: “The new stove cooks faster than the three-stone stove with small quantity of firewood. With the old stove, we do not sleep well at night due to exposure to the heat in the kitchen and our eyes are always itchy and red, but the new stove is smokeless and there is no heat.

Access to fuel-efficient stoves, cooking fuel and lighting is usually a minimum standard in humanitarian response, notes ICEED, adding that, while clean cookstoves and lighting are all recognised as lifesaving non-food items provided to IDPs, these minimum requirements are not often met.

Executive Director of ICEED, Ewah Eleri, remarked: “This project seeks to fill a gap in the humanitarian response in Nigeria. Typical IDP camps are characterised by lack of opportunities for employment and meaningful livelihood. This contributes to youth restiveness and tension. Adopting alternative fuels and energy technologies can create jobs for IDPS, especially women and youths. The use of these stoves also reduces the health risks of indoor air pollution faced by cooks.”

ICEED stressed that the broad objective of the project is to provide effective response to the cooking energy needs of IDPs in northeast Nigeria in a safe and sustainable manner.

“It seeks to address the problems associated with centralised institutional cooking for feeding programmes in IDP camps by reducing smoke and the incidences of respiratory diseases amongst cooks. This is in addition to improving efficiency in firewood usage and thereby contributing to addressing climate change.”

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