Nigerian Women Risk Their Health to Feed their Families

WEA is honored and proud to share that our Nigeria Project Lead, Olanike Olugboji, was recently featured in TIME Magazine, sharing an important issue that’s at the heart of our collaborative WISE Women’s Clean Cookstoves Project.


Photo: Olanike Olugboji

“Over 98,000 Nigerian women die annually from use of firewood. If a woman cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is equivalent to smoking between three and 20 packets of cigarettes a day.”

In her article, Olanike shares her personal story of growing up in a middle-class family in Nigeria that was fortunate enough to have the choice of cooking and heating fuels: gas, kerosene or wood. Unfortunately, as Olanike saw in her own community—and as remains the case today—not all families could afford alternatives to wood-burning cookstoves, and it is the women who most often bear the body burden of collecting and burning firewood. Mothers, daughters and sisters risk rape or assault on the long walks to gather biomass, and the smoke and residue from the open fire stoves used for cooking and heating pose grave dangers to their health.

Recognizing this alarming reality, Olanike and WEA have partnered together to design and host capacity-building trainings for women leaders from at least 5 states in Nigeria to promote and sell clean cookstoves. These trainings aim to increase participants access to safe, affordable, and energy saving heating and cooking options, support their employment and income generation, and more.

To learn more about Olanike and our WISE Women’s Clean Cookstoves Project, visit us here.

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