Firewood Smoke Endangers Lives Of 20m Nigerian Women


No fewer than 20 million
women in Nigeria are vulnerable to dangers associated with firewood smoke, an environmental expert, Prof. Ewa Eleri, said was Thursday.
Eleri said this in Abuja at a stakeholders’ workshop towards establishing ‘Clean Energy Facility in Nigeria.’
Eleri, who is also the Executive Director, International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED), an NGO, expressed concern that 100 million out of the number still live in darkness.
‘’The synergy between ICEED and the inter-agency committee is to provide safe cooking energy to prevent deaths caused by smoke from firewood.’’
He quoted a UN report as saying that about 95,300 people, especially women and children, died annually from smoke suffocation.
According to him, 300 million dollars will be needed to execute a project designed to provide clean cooking energy to about 17.5 million women across the country.
The workshop had in attendance an inter-agency committee comprising some government partners.
They are the Central Bank of Nigeria, Energy Commission of Nigeria as well as the Ministries of Power, Environment, Petroleum Resources and Finance.
In his speech, the Coordinating Minister of Environment, Mr Darius Ishaku, spoke of the need for Nigerians to avoid felling trees to guarantee habitable environment.
Represented by Mr Philip Bankole, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the ministry, Ishaku noted that cleaner sources of energy help to negate the effects of pollution.
Bankole added that the clean energy facility would ensure legitimate public good that would touch millions of households and small businesses by reducing energy poverty.
‘’It will also reduce smoke-related deaths for millions of women in urban and rural areas,’’ he said.