Indoor air pollution as a result of cooking with firewood on traditional three-stone and metal tripod stoves causes 95,300 deaths in Nigeria annually. After Malaria and HIV/AIDS, this is the third highest killer of Nigerian people. Not only in households is the use of wood very widespread, the use of wood in boarding secondary, prisons, hospitals, street restaurants, etc is contributing to deforestation being experienced all over the country. The impact on the health of women and children, impact on households and institutions’ incomes, impacts on the environment are very severe.
Today, Niger State Government has taken a proactive step in working with the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development and USAID Nigeria to bring this innovative scheme that will change the cooking practices in public boarding secondary schools in the state. This will be done through the provision of highly efficient woodstoves to 30 boarding schools. This will reduce the use of wood in the schools by at least 85%, eliminate smoke from the schools’ kitchens and address the issues of deforestation and climate change. The project will also work with the state government to develop and launch a large scale programme so households can afford clean cookstoves. It will build the capacity of stove producers and help them create markets for their products. In collaboration with the state government, the project will also help develop strategies for sustainable energy that promote health, save family income, enhance environmental protection and empower women. The overall aim of the project is to create a template for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and health risks among women by improving the efficiency of the use of fuelwood in households and institutions.
Lastly, ICEED wishes to thank the Niger State Government, especially the Honourable Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Dr Mustapha Ibrahim Lemu who has effectively facilitated the collaboration.