FG, firm to distribute 1m clean cookstoves to curtail use of firewood

Clean cookstove

The Federal Government, in partnership with Atmosfair, a German company, yesterday revealed plans to distribute one million ‘Save80 Clean Cookstoves’ annually to curtail the use of firewood by 80%.

The Director-General, National Council on Climate Change, Dr Salisu Dahiru, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on the sidelines of a Sensitisation programme for North Central Women, held in Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

He said the cookstove has been invented and designed in such a way that it would help families save at least 80% of all the firewood that they use in cooking a standard meal for any family.

Dahiru assured that the Federal Government will provide an enabling environment for Atmosfair to ensure that the cookstoves were made available and affordable at all times to the people.

He said: “That is exactly what we are doing and that is why we are partnering with the private sector. Remember this is an invention outside Nigeria but we made it so easy.

“And governments at the Federal and the state levels have made it possible for this company to invest in Nigeria, to set up a factory in Kano and set up an assembly plant here in Agada village, Keffi, where they will bring the completely knocked down pieces and assemble it.

“As far as these factories are concerned, the target is to be able to produce, on an annual basis, one million of these cookstoves and distribute them. But we are starting on a phase by phase basis.

“We are going to start with about 100,000 and then increase the capacity of the assembly plant because once the existing plan is working they are going to open another one in Kebbi State so that by next year the target will reach about 500,000 on an annual basis and then we seal it up to one million per annum.”

Cookstoves would not only enhance the cooking process, but also save the environment from the negative effects of climate change.

The Director-General noted that the issue of climate change is one of the most important issues that affect everybody, both the rich and poor, small or developed countries.

He said one way by which the effects of climate change can be controlled is by planting trees, while felling of trees is a practice that has led the world into the problem.

He said: “In Nigeria, we know that one of the ways we harvest and use trees is for cooking. Remember, we have a population of over 200 million, if 80% of these 200 million are relying on firewood as the main source of energy for cooking and heating, whether it is direct firewood or you are using charcoal is all firewood.

“Tell me the area that will be felt every year just to get firewood for cooking is so much that if something concrete is not done, then we will continue to deflect our forests, we will lose the forests and we will lose the soil.

“And it will not be able to support agriculture and then it will become desert and people will migrate and go to the areas where there is still little forest and the community in those places where you have little forests begin to resist them and then communal clashes will come.”

Saving cost

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Atmosfair gGmbh, Dr Dietrich Brockhagen, explained that the cookstove not only saves about 80% cost, but it also has a 10 years guarantee.

He said: “When I first came to Nigeria 10 years ago, I travelled from the South West Lagos up to Katsina, and when I saw the beautiful landscape and I met so many Nigerians and I realized how much forest was degraded.

“I saw many women cooking with firewood and they were suffering from pollution and I said ok there must be a solution to this and some of my Nigerian friends told me that even the tension between herders and farmers sometimes can be linked to erosion and land degradation.

“So, I said maybe if I bring an efficient cookstove to Nigeria it might be a solution and there could be a change and this is what I have been trying ever since.”

Also speaking, Amb. Faruk Malami-Yabo, the Chairman, Board of Advisory of the company and former Nigerian Ambassador to Jordan, said the cookstoves would not only enhance the cooking process, but also save the environment from the negative effects of climate change.

He revealed that the company will distribute about 6.7 million cookstoves over the next five years in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high point of the sensitisation programme was the demonstration of the usage and efficiency of the cookstoves.

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