A global agency, International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED), has disclosed that 93,000 Nigerians die annually as a result of smoke inhaled while cooking with firewood.
According to statistics released yesterday by the Agency during a one-day media training workshop on Ebonyi State Cooking Energy Programme at the Clean Cook stoves Development and Testing Centre in Afikpo, the most affected persons are women and children.
Speaking during the workshop, the Executive Director of ICEED in Nigeria, Mr. Ewah Otu Eleri, who spoke on the topic “Expanding access to energy for growth and poverty reduction in Ebonyi State” said that 2012 study report of the World Health Organisation (WHO), showed that deaths from firewood smoke is the third highest killer in the country after malaria (225,000) and HIV (192,000), which he attributed to lack of access to cooking gas and kerosene.
His words, “It is shocking and regrettable that 56 percent of households in Nigerian urban cities still use firewood to cook. In Ebonyi only 12 percent of households have access to kerosene while only 6.1 of the entire population of Lagos State use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking. About 30 million households depend solely on wood as a source of fuel for their daily cooking.”
The director said in a bid to reduce drastically this alarming number of deaths being recorded annually in the country, ICEED in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) came up with Energy Efficient Woodstoves Project in Nigeria with the aim of providing efficient energy woodstoves to Nigerian households.
He commended the state Governor, Martin Elechi for partnering with ICEED in the project which he said has seen the 30 boarding schools in the state getting the wood stoves free of cost.
He noted that the pilot scheme to the 30 boarding schools recorded 100 percent success.
“The project aims at 80 percent wood energy cost savings in institutions and to help over 700 women achieve better respiratory health, create new jobs from stove production, distribution and retailing in Ebonyi, empower women by building stove sale networks and support Ebonyi to develop sustainable cooking energy policy frameworks”
Participants at the workshop called for sustenance and adequate funding of the project which they described as a very laudable one add which will go along way in enhancing the living standards of the people especially women, children and youths.
Source: The Guardian