Over 70% of households use firewood
More than 70 per cent of the 36 million households in the country rely on firewood for their cooking and other forms of domestic energy.
This was the view expressed by Ms Precious Onuvae, Market Development Manager at the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at the opening of boost programme that develops the capacity of social enterprises to undertake bankable projects.
Onuvae said that the firewood option was cheap for most households but that it had serious health implications on the long run.
She called for a switch to a better and cleaner option which includes the clean cookstove and LPG saying that it would save society in terms of health, the environment and economic costs.
Also speaking at the boost programme, Ananthan Krishnan, Senior Associate at International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development, ICEED, said that more than 2.9 billion people globally still relied on firewood, coal and other polluting fuels to cook and heat their homes.
“These numbers underline the urgent need to accelerate the adoption of clean, efficient cooking fuels which can save millions of lives and help reach sustainable energy goals by 2030,” Krishnan said.
But as the discussion on the negative impact of firewood continues in the boardroom, the business of selling firewood continues to boom across the country.
The users of firewood in Abuja had grown from households, food vendors to bakeries, schools and eateries.
Madam Chioma Emmanuel, a trader in Kubwa, a suburb of Bwari Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said she gets her firewood from Gwagwa, adding that the business is not as lucrative as it was before.
She said that the business has been the means of livelihood for her family since the death of her husband. “The little money I make from selling firewood is what I’m using to train my children in school,” she adds.
felling of trees was bad, but there was nothing she could do, as that has been what has been sustaining her and her children.
A 55-year-old woman, Maman Habib, who sells firewood at Kado, Life Camp said: “We really suffer especially during rainy season but we are still able to keep life going.”