After malaria and HIV/AIDS the next highest killer of Nigerian women and children is cooking smoke from firewood, the Executive Director International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED), Mr. Ewah Eleri has said.
Briefing journalists in Abuja, he stated that World Health Organisation(WHO) brought out a report that shows that 95,300 Nigerian women die from smoke from the traditional biomass stove annually even as he said that apart from the health problems, the biomass stoves burns more than 90 per cent wood than necessary thus costing families more.
Eleri warned that if nothing is done about cooking energy, women and children will continue to suffer saying the problem of deforestation cannot be solved with the continual use of firewood as cooking energy.“You will agree with me that cooking shouldn’t kill, it should provide health, happiness and wellbeing in the family, but today cooking kills Nigerians.”
On the way forward, ICEED boss noted that the problem wasn’t HIV/AIDS that demands big budget to solve saying the problem can be solved by simply addressing the cooking energy challenge of Nigerians. “The solution is within our reach. We can solve it not in our life time but in a few years. It won’t cost so much money.
It will save many lives, it will save our forest. But we need to put it on the political agenda so that those who make decisions will know that today cooking in Nigeria is killing our woman and children and we can do something about it,” he stated while informing that though the best way to solve the problem is the use of natural gas as it is cleaner than wood and safer in many ways, another option would be the use of clean cook stove.