Not less than 93,000 women and children die annually from firewood smoke inhalation in Nigeria, a non-governmental organization, Youth for Environmental Sustainability and Development (YESD), has disclosed.
The Executive Director of YESD, Adesuwa James Jang, said 70% of Nigeria’s estimated 206 million inhabitants still rely on firewood in meeting their local energy needs for cooking and heating.
Jang quoted a World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED) report which indicated that more than 93,000 Nigerian women and children die annually from firewood smoke.
She said smoke emitted by firewood hearth is similar to the smoke emitted by 75 – 150 sticks of cigarettes.
Jan spoke at a one-day capacity building seminar/skills acquisition tagged “affordable and sustainable energy empowerment project” in Jos North local council, Plateau state, at the weekend. The training is a partnership between YESD and the Global Greengrants Funds.
The training aimed at training 50 women in Tudun Wada Local council on briquette making as a means of counteracting the use of firewood and charcoal which was rife in the area.
In her opening remarks, Jang said time was running out for Nigerians to rethink and develop an alternative source of energy that will be safe, sustainable, cheap and with less negative impacts on the environment, saying that was the inspiration behind the project.
She charged the women to make the best use of the opportunity to create a sustainable livelihood for themselves and their families and to ensure a clean environment.
In his keynote address, an environmental expert from the Women for Women Foundation on the nexus between sustainable energy, climate change and gender, Theophilus Philips, warned that climate change is a current global challenge and all, irrespective of gender, must provide innovative solutions to combat the current global crisis.
The briquette training took the women on a stepwise approach of turning organic wastes into briquettes that can be used for cooking. The women were also taught entrepreneurship and solar skills and tasked to market the product in their community.
The highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of energy cookstoves and the complete set of briquette tools and equipment to the women by the Executive Director.
CREDIT: GUARDIAN NG