From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

The Federal Government has lamented that millions of Nigerians especially women and children die annually due to polluted air from traditional cook stoves.

The Director General, Energy Commission of Nigeria, ECN, Dr Abdullahi Mustapha, stated this on Saturday, at a sensitisation campaign on the use of improved cooking stove at Karudu village, Karu Area Council, Abuja.

He added that cooking with traditional stoves needs to be addressed urgently as it is also responsible for deforestation, climate change and energy poverty in nation.

“Cooking with traditional biomass stoves is a major source of household air pollution, which causes millions of premature deaths every year, especially among women and children. It also contributes to deforestation, climate change, and energy poverty. These are serious challenges that we must address as a nation. That is why the Energy Commis- sion of Nigeria has initiated this campaign to promote the adoption and use of improved cook stoves.

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Dr Mustapha stressed that although the improved cook stoves still use fuel wood, they are designed to burn more efficiently and cleanly, reducing fuel consumption and harmful emissions.

“In fact, our own analysis also shows that they only require 1% of what ordinarily they would have used to cook; so it’s a more efficient way and also a safer way of cooking.

“It is also economical because they are not going to be buying firewood as much as they were doing. The government has provided them with superlatives. We have just begun to distribute some cooking stoves.

We have selected Karudu village as one of the pilot sites for this campaign, because we believe that they are a progressive and forward-looking community that is willing to embrace change and innovation for the betterment of their lives and the environment. We have also engaged with the local leaders, women groups, youth groups, and other stakeholders to ensure that this campaign is inclusive, participatory, and sustain- able.”

Dr Mustapha further restated that Nigeria would require about $4billion annually to go fully green by the year 2050.