The Tragic Cost of Depending on Firewood

Project: WISE Women's Clean Cookstoves Project

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Photo: Premium Times
Photo: Premium Times

In Nigeria, 72 percent of the population suffer the severe consequences of depending solely on fuel wood as their main source of heat for cooking. Furthermore, smoke from firewood is the third greatest killer of women and children in the country. According to the World Health Organization, in 2012, 93,300 deaths occurred in Nigeria as a result of smoke from traditional biomass stoves.

After malaria and HIV/AIDS, smoke is the biggest killer of mostly women and children.

“In addition to this health problem, traditional biomass stoves burn 90 per cent more wood than is necessary. This has cost poor families and institutions money that could be put to better use on education, health, and nutrition.”

Moreover, as there continues to be an increase in the percent of the population face poverty, there is a reversal in the move toward more efficient forms of energy, and many Nigerian families are in fact, “climbing down the energy ladder, moving from electricity, gas and kerosene to fuel-wood and other traditional biomass energy forms.”

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