ABOUT 120 million Nigerians especially women, are vulnerable to dangers associated with firewood smoke, an environmental expert, Ewah Eleri, has said.
Eleri said this in Abuja at a stakeholders’ workshop towards establishing ‘Clean Energy Facility in Nigeria.’
Eleri, who is also the Executive Director, International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED), a non -government organisation (NGO), expressed concern that 100 million out of the number still live in darkness. “The synergy between ICEED and the inter-agency committee is to provide safe cooking energy to prevent deaths caused by smoke from firewood,” he said.
He quoted a UN report as saying that about 95,300 people, especially women and children, died annually from smoke suffocation. According to him, 300 million dollars would be needed to execute a project designed to provide clean cooking energy to about 17.5 million women across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the workshop had in attendance an inter-agency committee comprising some government partners.
They are the Central Bank of Nigeria, Energy Commission of Nigeria as well as the Ministries of Power, Environment, Petroleum Resources and Finance.
In his speech, the Coordinating Minister of Environment, Mr Darius Ishaku, who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, spoke of the need for Nigerians to avoid felling trees to guarantee habitable environment.
Represented by Mr Philip Bankole, the Director, Ishaku noted that cleaner sources of energy help to negate the effects of pollution. Bankole added that the clean energy facility would ensure legitimate public good that would touch millions of households and small businesses by reducing energy poverty.
‘’It will also reduce smoke-related deaths for millions of women in urban and rural areas,’’ he said.