Follow the Money Network, Civil Society Organisation and other major stakeholders in the development sector in Nigeria are working toward to the effective implementation and equitable distribution of clean cookstoves for women. The provision of Clean Cookstoves for rural women, a proposed scheme by Federal Executive Council, which is to be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Environment is aimed at among other things the purchase and distribution of clean cookstoves and wonderbags for women in the rural areas, women with disabilities etc.
At the stakeholders’ forum held today 3 March 2015 at the Heinrich Boll Hall, Abuja, according to Oludotun Babayemi, Co-founder, Follow the Money in his address at the meeting giving overview of damaging effects of carbon from the accrued into human system said that recent statistics has shown that in Nigeria alone, over 95,000 women die annually from smoke, cooking with open fire according to the World Health Organization. Experts have stressed this is the third highest killer after Malaria and HIV/AID.
He further explained the major essence of follow the money network which is ensuring that funds that are being earmarked and disbursed for public procurement are used for what they are meant for. “We groundtruth in tracking these approved funds by the governments to ensure accountability and transparency, we are working to see that these cookstoves get to those who need them the most, which are women in the rural areas, women with disabilities among others.
Nafisat Abubarkar, Head of Secretariat, Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES) who spoke extensively at the meeting, said “RUWES as an organisation has been working to see that women in the rural areas in Nigeria are not being marginalised, we have equally gathered enough database that we are currently working with” she said. She further stated that RUWES has developed a monitoring and evaluation web based map, in form of geo-tagging which would help in carrying the citizens along in the implementation process of the cookstoves for women. “Anyone can just visit the web page to confirm the number of states that have benefited from this scheme” she explained.
Emma Kurtz, Project Manager Henirich Boll, said although the project of this magnitude is a laudable one, however there must be structure in place for its effective implementation and sustainability. She shed more light on the negative impacts of traditionally method of using firewood or sawdust for cooking. “Statistics has it that Nigeria contributes to the 10% of tonnes of carbon generated through the use of fossil fuels in the world, this is quite alarming and lot of death cases has been recorded as a result of this.
Tim Bauer, Sale Director, EnvironFit, an organisation that has been promoting the sales and use of Clean CookStoves in Nigeria since 2010, said this development is the right step in the right direction for a country as big as Nigeria, confronted with several other environmental issues one of which is deforestation caused by indiscriminate cutting of trees for firewood. He added that the sustainability of a project like would require the purchase of more millions of cookstoves and wonderbags so that it would go round. “Majority of these women in the rural areas cannot afford these cookstoves, except it is given to them free, which means they might not be able to maintain them on their own” he explained.