Daily Trust (Abuja)

18 December 2013

Nigeria: Niger State Launches Safe Cooking Energy Programme

The Niger State Government has launched the safe cooking energy programme in order to extend the benefits of safe cooking energy to half a million households and facilitate small businesses over the next three years.

The Safe Cooking Energy Programme is a partnership between the Niger State Government and USAID, the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility and the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cook stoves. The Nigerian Infrastructure Advisory Facility will provide technical assistance to the implementation of the programme.

USAID is already financing a project to extend the benefits of clean cooking to secondary schools in the state and as such Niger State has already installed highly efficient wood stoves in twenty six of its boarding secondary schools and reduced wood use by school kitchens to more than 80 per cent, saving money and the health of cooks in school kitchens.

The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr. Mustapha Lemu, said that Niger State would indigenise efficient wood burning technologies and this would contribute to industrial growth in the state. "The programme will contribute to the transformation agenda of the Government of Niger State by stimulating economic growth and reducing impacts on health and environment", he added.

The newly launched programme would replace traditional use of fire wood in the rest of public institutions with efficient wood burning technologies. It would build a stove production plant in the state and create over 1,500 new jobs. The programme will empower women by training them to produce and sell stoves. It will also reduce deforestation.

Speaking at the launch, Ewah Eleri, Executive Director, International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development and a Team Leader at the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility, said "we have lined up a solid partnership of donors to support the Niger State Government in its ambition to eradicate the harmful consequences of traditional cooking with wood. With our support, the state will become a model for clean cooking in Nigeria."

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