In this interview, the CEO; Doris McDaniels shares their activities in the clean cookstoves sector.
Give us a brief introduction about your organisation. What are the objectives of your organisation?
Midas Clean Cook Energy Global Ltd, is an Indigenous Company based in Niger delta Coastal Region of Nigeria. We produce Charcoal Cookstoves.
Our objectives are to manufacture durable Stoves of quality and standard, to dedicate effort to surpass the insecurity challenges in the Inner towns and villages of the Creeks, being a far forgotten Area for investors to penetrate into areas that are populated but tagged “The forgotten Areas”. We are very much looking into briquettes production, to reduce or eradicate the use of Charcoal.
We beckoned to the call of SPDC, to advocate the use, benefit and production of Clean Cook Stoves in various communities and Midas has been responsive to reaching out to the nook and cranny of the towns and villages in the Creeks to advocate the adoption of Clean Cookstove in various low income homes, which has been a life-saving cooking solution as a result of illegal Refineries producing adulterated kerosene that causes fatal explosion, killing innocent Women and Children using kerosene. Kerosene happens to be the main available cooking solution in the past 40 decades.
The insurgency in the Niger Delta has rendered the Creeks unsafe for women to make trips to the mangrove forest to access firewood for cooking, which was the traditional fuel for cooking. The 70s revolutionize kerosene usage until the development of illegal adulterated kerosene in 2005, killing people in scores.
Introduction of Clean Cook Stoves by Midas in 2014 was embraced, using clean stoves created business opportunity for charcoal sellers in various towns and villages in the Coastal Region.
Midas Cookstove was as an intervention tool to save mothers and the girl child cooking for their various household without resorting to dangerous adulterated kerosene; we also create awareness for communities to adopt clean cooking method.
We look forward to expanding our reach out to other parts of the country and export to abroad for individual usage for mini Charcoal roast for roast meat, fish, plantain etc.
An attempt we have started on a small scale to export to U.K. and we are getting good market response.
What does your organisation seek to achieve in Nigeria’s cooking energy market?
We are looking out to seek success in Niger Delta making sure Communities in the the Coastal Regions that are not easily accessed but are prone to serious challenges in accessing any other method of cooking solutions are introduced to Clean Cookstoves.
These communities are mainly Islands, where women using canoes to access firewood are raped and killed by pirates. With fear of such frequent happenings, they are in dilemma considering the regular kerosene explosions, and the only affordable cooking solution with a payment plan is Midas Clean Cookstove.
What are the opportunities in the business environment that have supported your organisation’s involvement in the clean cookstove sector over the years?
So far, there have been limited opportunities one can truly make reference to. The projected opportunities are mainly from foreign grants some partners are keying into.
Midas on its individual strategy creates opportunity by taking advantage of the economy, catching on alternative solutions to expensive cooking fuel like Gas and electricity.
How are your customers reacting to your products in the market – benefits of using your product?
My Customers are very impressed with the quality of my product and the benefit of using a cheaper fuel that is environmentally friendly, with less health hazard.
Job creation and the empowerment of women seem to be increasingly important. How has your organization helped to drive employment generation and the empowerment of women?
We are affiliated with female empowerment NGO who are linked up to our schemes of giving women business opportunities to create wealth themselves. We had training programs on clay usage for clay stoves and flower pots. We set up women to be marketing charcoal, briquettes.
If you are asked to advise the Federal Government of Nigeria on policy options, what are the three most important things the government can do to expand the market?
1. SENSITIZATION EXERCISE
a) Sensitize the market by involving the various wives of the Governors and Local Government Chairmen to be involved in the clean cook stove sensitization programs.
b) Employ media awareness programs.
2. Enact policy to encourage institutions, hospitals etc to adopt the clean cooking solution.
3. Provide grants and loans to assist manufacturers and distributors with insight on awareness creation.
If an enabling environment is not created by government, what future risks do you envisage?
Discouragement! This may be one word but it is multifaceted in a negative reaction. There will be fewer people interested in investing in clean cooking solutions. This might cause more health hazards from inhalation of toxic smoke and possibly deaths, as in the case of the kerosene explosion tragedy which was caused by adulterated kerosene use.
Where do you envisage your organization to be in the next 5 years in terms of production?
I see our organization going into partnership with a team of Technical experts to develop an alternative to kerosene, with locally available methanol. I’ll also go into the production of suitable stoves. Also, expand production of charcoal and briquettes stoves, production of sawdust briquettes and wood lighters.
What risk does your business face and what is your biggest challenge?
Imported Clean Cookstoves can affect the market of local producers. Substandard clean cookstoves with very low price to attract unsuspecting buyers can tarnish the image of clean cookstoves. Our biggest challenge is funding for equipment and expansion.
What are your suggestions for moving the cooking energy market forward in Nigeria?
Involving relevant stakeholders e.g mega Churches, Ministry of Women affairs and Monarchs.
Is there any other thing you would like to share?
The introduction, creation of awareness within the Nigerian and Global Alliance for Clean cookstove in Nigeria is lopsided. Most activities are limited to the North and South West of Nigeria. Incorporating the entire country will enhance Clean Cookstove business in Nigeria.