The International Centre for Energy, Environment & Development (ICEED) in collaboration with Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (NACC) have concluded plans to set up national standards for wood burning stoves in Nigeria. This was disclosed by Ewah Eleri, Executive Director of ICEED, during a workshop held recently in Abuja on clean cookstoves design, production and testing.
Eleri said, “Over 20 million households in Nigeria are dependent on the traditional use of fire wood for their daily cooking. As improved and efficient wood stoves come into the Nigerian market, we must ensure that these stoves demonstrate value for their users. Quality assurance in terms of smoke reduction, wood and cost savings are important in building market confidence for these stoves.”
According to observers, smoke from cooking fire causes 95,300 deaths in Nigeria. They add that poor families using three-stone fire spend much of the food budgets on buying wood and charcoal, while others spend hours collecting wood. They note that inefficiency in the combustion of wood raises the cost of cooking for the poor and contributes to deforestation, adding that enhancing efficiency in biomass energy use will address health, poverty and environment challenges and create a market of over N300 billion in new cooking stoves.
Eleri stressed that, today, an independent stove testing and certification facility for biomass stoves does not exist in Nigeria. “Progress towards modern stove design, production, standardisation and testing has been slow. There is lack of regulations and standards for stove manufacturers. The lack of standards and regulations also hinder stove manufacturers’ efforts to differentiate their stoves, and prevent consumers, investors and donors from making informed decisions,” he added.
According to Professor Eli Bala, Acting Director General of ECN, “the standardisation of the energy efficient cookstoves must be taken seriously in order to save our markets, homes and restaurants from being jampacked with quack and inefficient cooking appliances”.
In his remarks, the Director General of SON, Dr Joseph Odumodu, called for closer partnership with stakeholders in developing standards and building the capacity to test locally produced and imported stoves. According to him, “SON will not impose standards for woodstoves. National standards must be a product of close consultation and dialogue among key stakeholders.”
With support from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, ICEED is establishing the Nigerian Clean Cookstoves Design and Testing Centre at Afikpo, Ebonyi State. The centre will provide stove producers and users, and other relevant stakeholders the opportunity to confidently compare stove performance and safety.
In addition, it will provide a common set of terminology for wood stoves for easier understanding and communication; give stove producers, marketers and users assurance of product quality; let stove users know that they are making worthwhile investments; and drive innovation in the industry. The setting up of the centre will contribute to the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves’s goals of 10 million clean cookstoves disseminated to Nigerian homes and institutions by 2020.