Firewood Smoke Kills 90,000 Nigerians Annually


According to the federal government, firewood smoke kills over 90,000 Nigerians, especially women and children, each year. Firewood smoke has other complications it causes whenever it is emitted into the air.

The Nigerian clean cooking forum in 2021 was tagged “Clean Cooking Energy for All in Nigeria–Achieving the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).” Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of Environment, revealed that 70% of Nigeria’s population still relies solely on wood fuel to meet their energy needs for cooking and heating.

Sharon Ikeazor stated, “If current policies may continue; by 2030, 60% or more of all households in Nigeria will still be cooking with traditional biomass.” Dependency on biomass for cooking and or heating purposes increases pressure on local natural resources. It poses a threat to the health and safety of end-users, mainly women, often accompanied by their children. Over 90,000 Nigerian women and children die annually from firewood smoke.”

According to the Environment Minister, the practice results in an equivalent of 5.4 million tons of CO2 (GFW) because of unsustainable wood harvesting, reducing carbon uptake by forests.

She said Nigeria’s residential sector contributes more than half of the country’s total Greenhouse Gas emissions.

 “The use of cleaner, more modern cook stoves and fuels can dramatically reduce exposure to harmful smoke, improving the health of rural women, creating wealth, providing myriad economic opportunities for Nigerians and has important environmental and climate benefits,” Sharon Ikeazor stated.

Over the years, the Federal Ministry of Environment has supported the implementation of clean cooking programs to assist Nigeria in reducing GHG emissions while also promoting green growth.

The federal government met its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) obligations by encouraging Nigerian households to switch from inefficient cooking fuels like fuelwood, charcoal, and kerosene to LPG and other efficient cooking fuels.

According to Olanike Olugboji, the WISE founder and program director, shared with a news agency in Kaduna during training for 30 women from various communities across the state, cooking breakfast, lunch, and supper with firewood are equivalent to smoking three to twenty packets of cigarettes per day.


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