Niger state government in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, and the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development, ICEED, is evolving safe cooking methods, for the safety of women and the children, who are the most vulnerable groups that engage in cooking activities.
The safe cooking stove initiative was developed to save the vulnerable groups in view of the horrendous statistical revelation that at least, 95, women die yearly due to the environmental pollution associated with using firewood as cooking energy.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Engineer Abubakar Salisu, who spoke on behalf of the state government, at a workshop for members of the media, towards adequate sensitization of the end-users of safe cooking stove in Minna, yesterday, admonished the people, especially, those at local communities, to embrace the project aimed at alleviating their suffering when trying to put food on the table of family members.
Salisu regretted that wood energy that caused indoor air pollution from solid fuels ranked third as a killer among the vulnerable groups.
The goal of the Safe Cooking Energy programme, according to Salisu, was to provide more than 500,000 households with safe cooking stoves; provide such services to 50 institutions in the state; mass production of safe cooking stoves in Niger state; creation of additional 1,500 new jobs; empowerment of women who would be engaged in the exercise; reduced deforestation and improved family health, among others.
On the achievement of the initiative so far, Salisu noted that 26 boarding secondary schools with over 23, 000 students in the state are using energy efficient wood stoves and saving up to 80 per cent of wood use, 100 households have piloted the use of household clean cooking stoves, capacity building for stove production among SMEs in the state, in addition to development and launch of Niger state Cooking Energy programme.