According to experts, more than 95,000 Nigerians die each year from inhaling toxic smoke emitted from rudimentary cooking stoves.
Recently, a UN-linked organisation Alliance for Clean Cookstoves launched a campaign for the environment friendly cooking stoves in the country to help prevent the deaths caused by the inhalation of toxic smoke.
Yahaya Ahmed, director Developmental Association for Renewable Energies and member of the Alliance for Clean Cook stoves, said the new cook stoves were energy efficient, used only a fraction of firewood or charcoal compared to other stoves in the market and did not emit toxic smoke.
He added that the stoves are aimed at the low income population of the country that still cannot afford electricity or gas for cooking.
“These stoves have been more affordable through carbon finance, carbon finance meaning that companies and countries who are polluting a lot in the world and causing global warming have provided money that is used to subsidize the costs of these stoves, so these stoves are so low priced that they can compare with kerosene stoves,” he said.
Although Nigeria holds the world’s seventh largest gas reserves, and is amongst top oil producing countries, more than 100 million Nigerians do not have access to electricity or gas for cooking and use kerosene which itself is very scarce in supply, even though Nigeria is a major oil and gas country.
Carol Nwosu, a resident of Abuja says she uses kerosene stoves and sometimes firewood to cook because she can not afford the costs of running a generator or cooking gas, despite the harm that these stoves poses.
“Using kerosene stove, may be you finished cooking and you want to put off your stove, the whole atmosphere, most especially when you are cooking inside the house, you discover that when you put of the stove, the house will be smelling one offensive odor like that, another disadvantage I see using kerosene is that it blackness the pots,” she said.
Alliance for Clean Cookstove aims to equip at least 10 million Nigerians with the new cook stoves by 2020 and hopes to achieve the half a million mark within the next 12 months.