How Institutionalized Improved Cookstoves Can Save Thousands Of Lives And Add Billions Of Naira To The Nigerian Economy
It is shocking to know that the number of Nigerians who die from household air pollution in a year is almost the same as the total number of people that have been killed as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
Premium Times in 2017, reported that the Borno State Governor Kashim Shettimma stated that an estimated 100,000 lives have been lost to the Boko Haram insurgency. On the other hand, Household Air Pollution (HAP) which is also referred to as Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) is responsible for the death of over 90,000 Nigerians annually. Despite the aforementioned, there is little action and awareness on the dangers of HAP in Nigeria when urgent steps need to be taken to tackle the menace.
HAP mostly occurs when the air indoor is polluted as a result of people cooking, lighting and heating their homes. About 3 billion people across the world use kerosene, firewood, coal, crop waste, and animal dung to cook in open fires or through inefficient stoves. These practices results in the release of toxic fumes which are inhaled by people especially women and children.
Around 4 million premature deaths from diseases caused by HAP occur yearly across the globe with over 90,000 of those deaths recorded in Nigeria alone. Some of the diseases include lung cancer, ischaemic heart diseases, stroke and pneumonia among others. It is reported that nearly half of deaths resulting from pneumonia among children are caused by HAP.
One effective way of solving the challenges of HAP is through the adoption of improved cook stoves (ICS) which are stoves that are safer, emit less emissions and are more efficient. There are many types of ICS which differ based on size, materials, fuel and technology.
Improved Institutional Cook Stoves (IICS) arestoves designed to be used for large scale cooking and they are more efficient, safer with lower emissions than conventional stoves. There are various types of IICS comprising of those that use either firewood, briquettes, pellets, biogas and ethanol as fuel. The cost also vary depending on the materials they are produced from with some made out of bricks while others are made from metallic objects.
Efficiency of the stoves depend on the technology, fuel as well as the materials they are made from.
Wajim Yakubu Nuhu is a GREEN ACE (Advocate Consultant Entrepreneur) and he is based in Abuja, Nigeria.