Abuja – Nigeria: “Promoting use of clean cook-stoves represents a diplomatic and development priority for the U.S. Government,” says Ambassador Terence P. McCulley at the official launch of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves in Abuja on Tuesday, March 20, 2012.
The project targets 10 million Nigerian homes adopting the use of clean cook-stoves by the year 2020. The Global Alliance goal is to impact 100 million users of clean cook-stoves by the target year 2020.
Ambassador McCulley praised the Nigerian group for becoming part of the Global Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves spearheaded by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010, to create a thriving global market for clean and efficient household solutions.
He said as part of the Global Alliance, the U.S. government has committed up to $105 million dollars over the next five years towards public diplomacy, applied research, capacity building, stove testing, field implementation, and evaluation.
The U.S. government’s assistance program also intends to support the deployment of energy efficient cook-stoves to school and public health facilities, a commitment, which Ambassador McCulley hopes, will serve as a model for scale-up and replication in support of the Nigerian government’s policy to transition from fire wood and kerosene to cooking gas.
Mr. Ewah Otu Eleri, Director, International Centre for Energy, Environment & Development and Coordinator of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves, said they will be raising awareness about the impact of traditional cooking practices on health, environment, livelihoods, and women’s empowerment.
He said Nigeria has the highest number of deaths resulting from smoke fuels – 95,000 Nigerians die annually from problems arising from toxic smoke from rudimentary cook-stoves, one of the developing world’s worst public health threats.
“Cooking is supposed to bring pleasure, bring health, bring well-being into families – cooking should not kill,” Mr. Eleri intoned.
Global Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves is a UN Foundation-led initiative seeking to reverse this trend.
Radha Muthiah, executive director of the Global Alliance, said the risk posed by rudimentary forms of cooking should be accorded similar attention as diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
She said about three billion people globally are dependent on solid fuels for cooking, such as burning wood or charcoal indoors, a practice that also depletes forests, which scientists say can contribute to climate change.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves is a public-private initiative to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.
Current partners include The Global Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves, Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Oando Plc, USAID, GIZ-Nigeria, Heinrich Boll Foundation, First City Monument Bank, Bank of Industry and International Centre for Energy, Environment & Development.