Lead Ambassador of the Clean Energy Ambassadors Network (CLEAN), Mrs. Ajoke Murtala Muhammed, has described clean cooking solutions are those technologies, fuels, equipment and practices that address the health and environmental impacts associated with traditional cooking with firewood.
According to her, these could take the form of improved and efficient wood and charcoal burning stoves, cooking gas, and more effective use of agro waste. She notes that the shift to clean cookstoves reduces cooking costs and health impacts for families, adding that it comes in various sizes and anticipates cultural affinity for certain ways of cooking, hence its adaptability to wood, kerosene and gas.
She made the submission recently in Abuja during the inauguration of CLEAN, adding that Nigerians are aware of the dangers associated with cooking the traditional kitchens.
“Over 90 million Nigerians, and almost all public institutions, cook with wood on the traditional ‘three-stone fire’. In the rural and peri-urban communities in Nigeria, poor women cook with wood energy and other sources easily available in their environment but which are detrimental to their health. These include wood, debris and wastes from nearby forests, and household refuse. These sources are attractive because they are relatively affordable and accessible.
“However, they burn at a high carbon emission level with the attendant greenhouse gas effect and hazard to health and the environment. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), smoke from cooking with wood causes over 95,000 deaths, mostly women and children in Nigeria every year. It is the third highest killer of women and children after malaria and HIV/AIDS. The technology of the clean cook stoves can help address this problem.”
According to her, CLEAN is committed to: working nationally and locally to keep the issue of clean cooking energy visible on the policy radar in support of the Ministry of Environment’s effort in this regard; generating awareness around the need to grow women’s enterprise as a model for developing a socially responsible clean energy market; and setting targets about number of stoves to be accessed by women across Nigeria.
“To keep the fire burning, with the support of Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF) as a programme and the Ministry of Environment who must work with us to lead the way; we all need to join hands to ensure that we support this initiative as we are able and to bring clean cook energy to the Nigerian woman,” she added.
CLEAN Ambassadors also include: Dame Pauline Tallen (former Deputy Governor of Plateau State and former Minister of State, Science and Technology), Saudatu Sani (former Chair, House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs and House of Representative Committee on MDGs), Christina Alaaga (chair, House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development), Eziuche Ubani (journalist and pioneer chair, House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change) and Lawali Liman (accountant and executive chairman, Kaura Namoda Local Government, Zamfara State).
Others are: Abimbola Oloyede (broadcaster and national coordinator of the Women’s Optimum Development Foundation), Samson Itodo (legal practitioner, human rights activist and social entrepreneur), Hajiya Jummai Babangida (First Lady of Niger State and founder, Life Rehab Foundation), Hajiya Fatima Shehu Shema (First Lady of Katsina State and founder, Service to Humanity Foundation), and Bahijjahtu Abubakar (Head, Renewable Energy Programme, Federal Ministry of Environment and secretary of CLEAN).