Why haven’t the impacts of cookstove smoke received more attention?
Exposure to harmful cooking smoke has overtime received little or no funding and research attention as compared to other risk factors like malaria and HIV/AIDS. According the World Health Organization, 95,300 deaths occur annually as a result of indoor air pollution from smoke inhalation. This is the third largest killer after Malaria and HIV/AIDS. This lack of attention derives from several reasons:
- Lack of awareness among the affected population, government and donor community about the harmful impacts of indoor air pollution and the corresponding benefits of clean cookstoves;
- Inadequate research on the health, economic and environmental impacts of using traditional three-stone cookstoves;
- The lack of knowledge about affordable, advanced solutions that demonstrate clear benefits; and
- Absence of monitoring and evaluation of stoves programs.
Why is the timing right for the Nigerian Alliance?
Recent trends in household and institutional cooking fuels have brought about the need for the Alliance. Government policies overtime seeks to promote a shift in cooking fuel from fuelwood to electricity. However, instead of climbing up the energy ladder, more Nigerians are climbing down. Recent trends in household energy consumption show that in the last couple of years, the percentage of Nigerians adopting traditional three-stone cooking methods has risen beyond previous years. The Nigerian Alliance is coming at the right time to reduce the number of households using traditional cooking methods.