Prospects of clean cookstoves, by stakeholders

FG eying 20m stoves in five years –Abubakar

The fact that the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that over 95,000 deaths occur due to indoor house pollution as a result of cooking with firewood is enough to alarm us. The fact that the world energy outlook in 2010 says that, by 2030, deaths from in-house pollution is going to be much more than malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS is enough to get us to action. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstove was launched in 2010 in the United States as said earlier and it was anchored by the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

We believe that if Nigeria wants to be counted as one of the 20 best economies by 2020, we cannot carry the burden of 95,000 deaths every year due to indoor air pollution from smoke from cook stove. So we need to clean up our act so that our economy grows without the burden of the guilt of 95,000 people dying annually.

The target is to provide 10 million clean cook stoves in 2020; however, we are more ambitious by saying we want to do 20 million in five years. The Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to providing clean energy. We cannot lead Africa; we cannot say we are developing a green economy by still cooking with primitive methods that endanger the lives of women and children. So, if for any reason Nigeria wants to stand up and be counted in this International Year of Sustainable Energy, we need to commit to making sure that clean energy is a reality.

What we have done through the Presidential Initiative is go to the modern villages for clean cookstoves where 10 households in every village act as pilot case. In 2012, the Ministry of Environment is taking the driver’s seat in ensuring that the clean cookstove in Nigeria is a reality.

The desert is sacking the people from the north, the erosion is sacking people from the South East, and the flood is sacking people from the South West. Everybody is moving towards the centre, there is going to be crisis, so I need every Nigerian to embrace this as a matter of life and death because our lives and our livelihood are being threatened.

However, we cannot tell people to stop using fuel wood because we have not provided alternatives.

• Bahijjatu Abubakar is Coordinator, Renewable Energy Programme,Federal Ministry of Environment

Alliance making stoves affordable – Muthiah

We have a variety of stoves and manufacturers, using different fuels; you might have ethanol and other fuels. Here today we have different kind of stoves, so there is not just only one problem to address there are many solutions.

In terms of the affordability, the Nigerian alliance is working with the global alliance in several areas. One is to ensure that we have consumer level financing, whether it is micro-finance institution or we have a credit scheme where people might take the stove and pay up within six to 12 months. Those are the way we are looking for it to be affordable to the end users. So, producers are selling their stoves at a subsidised rate. The third way is to produce at the scale the cost we go down.

In terms of availability, the plan in Nigeria is for both urban and rural areas; we are working though civil society organisations, community-based organisations, who are already operating in many of these villages, working with women cooperative societies. People who already have a network that reach these villages are going to be working with them. We don’t necessary need to create additional distribution channels for cookstoves, so the Nigerian alliance is interested in tapping to these networks to get clean cookstoves to the poor people.

We are trying to prioritise about 10 countries that we will be working with and Nigeria is one of them, we are very committed to support the Nigerians Alliance, this is not a situation where we don’t know where the solution is, the solution is very much here, the Nigerian Alliance has brought together a tremendous number of stakeholders; the government, private sector players and NGOs, and we are very proud to be a partner to have 10 million cookstoves by 2020.

• Radha Muthiah is Executive Director, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

We aim to reduce fuel wood consumption – Eleri

We want an improvement in the reduction of the amount of wood that is used by both rural and urban families. Girls and women spend a lot of time collecting wood, but they will like to spend that time on education and other areas. In urban area, wood is increasingly getting expensive, and poor families are spending money that they don’t have or money they could have used for other purposes especially in buying food.

Today, the challenge is quiet simple. There are no stoves in the market that could be able to solve this problem even though we have LBD stove, cooking gas, for some people it is still quite expensive because it is cheaper to use other sources, but because the gas cylinders that we have in the market are too big and costly for poor people to buy, because we don t have gas cylinders that are smaller for poor people to buy just the way people buy recharge card for N100, N200 and refill them next time. So we want cylinder for gas like 2.5kg, 3kg so that people can be able to afford them.

Through this project we will save million of carbon and if we do it right our country will benefit from millions of dollars from the carbon market, this will benefit primarily families. Today, some of the stoves are still expensive but we are able to put carbon credit on them, and we can reduce their prices more than half; this is what we are working towards.

The primary objective for clean cookstove is to help Nigeria solve Nigerians’ problem. So whatever that we can achieve in terms of contribution from international community comes as a bonus to us. Our primary objective is to ensure that our government and private sector put adequate money in this area of energy sector because, to say the truth, this is the most important energy crisis in our country. Often we focus on electricity and petroleum, but today we know that lack of access to cooking alternatives in home actually kills, so it very important that we address this as an emergency that it is.

• Ewah Otu Eleri is Executive Director, International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED)