Ten million clean cookstoves achievable

The Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves was launched in Abuja on Tuesday March 20, 2012. The Alliance made up of four federal government agencies, major oil and gas companies such as Shell and Oando as well as donors plan to introduce 10 million clean cookstoves by the year 2020.

The Nigerian Alliance promotes the transition from the use of raw, unprocessed solid fuels such as fire wood in traditional three-stone stoves to higher levels of efficiency and clean energy sources such as LPG and electricity. In her remarks, the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Radha Muthiah noted her delight as Nigeria became the first African country to launch a national partnership to confront the health and environmental dangers of the traditional use of fire wood. According to Ms Muthiah, “Nigeria has shown tremendous capacity to provide leadership in addressing this silent national health crisis, the country can lead the rest of Africa in solving this problem”, she says.

As one of the members of the Alliance, Oando Plc pledged to sell affordable gas stoves to six million poor families in three years. “With other companies joining the Alliance, the goal of 10 million clean cookstoves is already in sight. However the Nigerian Alliance will rather under-promise and over-deliver”, according to Ewah Eleri, Executive Director of International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development.

Nigeria suffers over 95,000 deaths annually from smoke from fire wood. The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence MacCulley pledged the support of the US government to Nigeria’s efforts to solve the problem of smoke from fire wood. According to the ambassador, the US government has concluded plans to provide Nigerian secondary schools with large clean cookstoves.

Ingrid Fiskaa, Norway’s minister of state for international development pledged on behalf of her government to support Nigeria in her efforts to end this health and environmental problem. According to Fiskaa, “it is unacceptable that over two million lives are lost globally to the problem of unsafe cooking methods. Most of these deaths are women and children. Norway stands ready to support Nigeria in ending this unnecessary loss of lives”, she concluded.

Current members of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves include the Bank of Industry, USAID, ICEED, Heinrich Boell Foundation, the German-GIZ, Shell, Oando, Energy Commission of Nigeria and the Federal Ministries of Environment, Women Affairs and Health.