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Firewood smoke killing 90,000 Nigerians annually – FG

Federal government said over 90,000 women and children die annually from firewood smoke complications.

The minister of environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, disclosed this at the 2021 Nigeria clean cooking forum with the theme: “Clean Cooking Energy for All in Nigeria – Achieving the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).”

She said over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population depend solely on fuel wood in meeting their energy needs for cooking and heating.

Ikeazor said, “If current policies are allowed to continue; by 2030, 60 per cent or more of all households in Nigeria will still be cooking with traditional biomass.

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“Dependency on biomass for cooking and or heating purposes increases pressure on local natural resources.

“It poses a threat to the health and safety of end-users, mainly women often accompanied by their children.

“More than 90,000 Nigerian women and children die annually from firewood smoke.”

She said the practice leads to an equivalent of 5.4mt of CO2 (GFW) resulting from unsustainable wood harvesting, thereby reducing carbon uptake by forest.

She added that Nigeria’s residential sector also contributes over 50 per cent of national total emissions of Green House Gases.

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“The use of cleaner, more modern cookstoves and fuels can dramatically reduce exposure to harmful smoke thereby improving the health of rural women, creating wealth, provide myriad economic opportunities for Nigerians and has important environmental and climate benefits,” she said.

The minister said the Federal Ministry of Environment has over the years supported the implementation of programmes on clean cooking to help Nigeria reduce its GHG emissions and also boost green growth.

Ikeazor said the federal government is striving to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) obligations by ensuring that Nigerian households convert from the use of inefficient cooking fuels such as fuel wood, charcoal and kerosene to LPG and other efficient cooking fuels.

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“That is why we have put together this forum, bringing together policy makers, civil society organisations, NGOs, academia, women groups, international partners for all to be well equipped with the right knowledge and tools to be able to develop strategies and plans that squarely address the issues of clean cooking,” she added.

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