UKAID, others boost clean energy cooking in South East
As smoke from firewood kills approximately 93, 300 vulnerable Nigerian women and children every year, a project by Modern Energy Cooking Services-Technology Research Innovation for International Development (MECS-TRIID) has moved to provide an efficient alternative through the adoption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
The initiative is the outcome of a proposal that won a small grant from the UKAID (DFID) funded MECS-TRIID for the implementation of a six-month research project titled “Enhancing LPG Access for Semi-Urban Populations in Nigeria.” The project partners –Techno Oil Nigeria Limited and Africare – in collaboration with Schrodinger Greentech.
The pilot research project seeks to establish the extent to which a fee-for-service, cylinder recirculation delivery model offered via women cooperative groups.
It is anchored on how social enterprise business models can enhance wide and sustained adoption of modern energy cooking services based on, among semi-urban populations in Nigeria such as Arondizuogu and Okpanku communities.
Chukwumerije Okereke, who is also a professor at the University of Reading, United Kingdom, and the MECS-TRIID project director, said the project’s immense potentials at scale; are to address Africa’s sustainable development challenges from a strong demand-side, last-mile-community-ownership, bottom-up position.
Okereke, who is also the director of the Climate Change and Development Centre, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike (AE-FUNAI) called on governments and individuals to buy into the project to establish the extent to which incentives- based, can encourage women in two communities to move away from environmentally damaging ‘dirty cooking’ to cleaner ones.
According to university don, the project seeks and anchors on social enterprise business model can enhance wide and sustained adoption of modern energy cooking services based on liquefied petroleum gas.
Equally, he explained that the project has potentials to address Africa’s sustainable development challenges from a strong demand-side, last-mile-community-ownership, and bottom up position.
Also, executive vice chairperson of Techno Oil Limited, Nkechi Obi, said “as a leading pro-poor modern energy service provider in Africa, our modest history of supporting is to advance clean cooking initiatives.
Obi, represented by Eugene Osimiri, head of LPG business, stated that the firm has distributed over 50,000 6kg cylinders in the drive for a clean energy cooking initiative, which started in 2013 in Lagos under the “Cook Safe Project.
On his part, an Abuja based Sustainable Energy and Green Economy Consultancy; Stanley Ijeoma said the project is a unique blend of academia and industry pulling in the same direction with stakeholders.
Stanely called on governments at all levels to leverage the unique platform to prevent about 93,000 of our precious women and children from having to die while cooking for our families annually.
Acting Country Director of Africare, Patrick Ajah, argued that as leading NGO that works in disadvantaged communities in Africa, they would continue the locally driven community behavioural change and capacity building.
Similarly, Prof. O.C Nwana thanked God for making such a laudable project a reality in two beneficiary communities, urging the women to make the life-saving switch from toxic dirty cooking to clean LPG.