At least 98,000 Nigerian women die every year as a result of inhaling smokes during cooking with firewoods, Mrs. Bahijjahtu Abubakar, an official of the Federal Ministry of Environment, has said.
Mrs. Abubakar made this known to the journalists at the official launch of RUWES and the 4th Annual Nigeria Renewable Energy Day in Abuja today.
According to her words, death from the sector contributes to 10 per cent of global annual death, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) study.
“The WHO says that over 98,000 Nigerian women die annually from the use of firewood.
“If a woman cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is equivalent to smoking between three and 20 packets of cigarette a day.”
It was mentioned that the ministry had recently launched a Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES) programme. The aim of the programme is to prevent the trend and to create awareness on the dangers of using dirty energy.
She commented on the attempts of the ministry to provide rural women with clean cooking energy, saying,
“Harnessing renewable energy is a tool to mitigate the impact of climate change tool, to address poverty and it is about economic empowerment and also contribution to the environment. So, we are looking at the lighting solution, heating and cooking solution.”
The coordinator said the ministry had been reaching out to women-based organisations through RUWES.
“We hope through the market women organisation and all the professionals that are women-based, we are reaching out to every nook and cranny of Nigeria.”
On the affordability of the cooking stoves provided under RUWES, she said it would be a single digit interest rate for the facilities.
According to Mrs. Abubakar, women will be provided with the opportunity to pay back within 2 years. They should just join the cooperative in order to be given lighting, cooking and heating solution facility to use.
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