Gabriel Enenche —
The United Nations (UN) through its Development Programme, Global Environment Facility Integrated Approach Programme on Food Security (UNDP-GEF-IAP-FS), yesterday in Abuja said at least 1.6 million persons die of smoke related sicknesses annually around the world, due to inefficient cooking stoves.
Ms Rhoda Dia, Project Manager, Resilient Food Security Project, under the UNDP-GEF-IAP-FS Project, said the UN had therefore, come up with an alternative to curb the ugly trend.
Dia also said 70 communities across seven states of the federation had been selected to benefit from a training on the use of energy efficient cooking stove.
While listing the benefitting states to include, Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina and Gombe, she said part of the project is to also teach beneficiaries on alternative livelihood and additional job creation methods for the communities to compliment the project’ s efforts on agro forestry intervention.
Dia further said the project, aimed at reducing deforestation, was in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), to help beneficiaries address health, social and environmental problems arising from smokes.
Dia said more than 70 per cent of the Nigerian population cook with dirty fuels, leading to around 95,000 deaths annually.
She said the energy efficient cooking stoves were produced to address negative environmental, health and social problems of cooking with traditional open fires and other inefficient cook stoves, and further added that participants would enjoy immense benefits such as the reduction of indoor smoke levels by 90 per cent and prevention of build up of soot in the home and in the lungs.