By Etta Michael Bisong
Connected Development (CODE), a non-governmental organisation that empowers marginalised people on government expenditure has announced her readiness to organise another stakeholder’s meeting around the NGN9.2 billion approved for the procurement of 750, 000 Clean Cookstoves and 18, 000 Wonderbags.
The workshop which is collaboration with Heinrich Boell Foundation Nigeria is scheduled to hold on Thursday 16th April, 2015. it is a follow-up to an earlier meeting held 3rd March, 2015 to share and enhance knowledge on the implementation of the project.
Over 93, 500 Nigerians die annually according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) as result of smoke generated when using wood to cook. This is even worse as the nation continue to loss reasonable chuck of her forest reserves to activities such as tree felling for cooking fuel and exposes its citizens to the aftermath of desertification.
These clean cookstoves and wonderbags if procured and distributed as planned are expected to help mitigate the impact associated with traditional cooking methods and practices of tree felling as well as other environmental factors responsible for the incessant changes observed in the climatic pattern.
Monitoring & Evaluation expert to CODE, Oludotun Babayemi, said his organisation as part of her mandate to advocate, track and visualise government funds have been “activated” to monitor the implementation processes of the exercise.
This engagement according to him will help decipher the gaps of giving the products free of charge to state and local government wives nominees, a process that bedevils the objective of the initiative.
Participants at the parley were deeply concerned by the absence of a proper framework for the procurement and distribution of the cookstoves and wonderbags, strategies for engaging key stakeholders in the proper implementation of the exercise, haphazardness of the proposed beneficiaries and the legitimacy of some government action around the distribution of the clean technologies to rural dwellers.
Where attempts have been made thus far to differentiate between who clean cookstoves should be given to freely, and those that can afford to buy, the foregoing is serious cause for concern to stakeholders as they raised the question of sustainability and viability in the clean cookstoves market.
In order to address the aforementioned setback, the stakeholders urged the Ministry of Environment to expand its consultation for the implementation of the National Clean Cookstove Scheme and institutionalise a publicly known mechanism for dissemination of the cook stoves, as well as make public the identities of beneficiaries of the products.