Abuja -The federal government has promised to address energy poverty in the
country through its Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES) project.
Darius Ishaku, the Supervising Minister of the Ministry of Environment, said
this at the official launch of RUWES and the 4th Annual Nigeria Renewable
Ishaku said nearly half of the country's population cook on open fire, a
contributor to deforestation, global warming, respiratory infections and
He said that solid and fossil fuel combustion emissions from household
cooking and heating were a leading risk factor for diseases.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that energy poverty refers to the
situation where a large number of people in developing countries
whose well-being is negatively affected by low consumption of energy.
The minister identified energy poverty as a risk factor from
household cooking accounting for approximately four percent of all
health-life-years in low and middle income regions of the country.
''As if this statistics was not worrisome enough, we also know that the
demand for fuel wood resources for household energy impacts terrestrial
The minister, however, said that the cooking component under RUWES would be
an aggressive drive designed specifically to reduce and eventually eliminate
cooking with solid and fossil fuels, such as firewood and kerosene.
He explained that the project was aimed at eliminating cooking with firewood
and kerosene, stressing that these were detrimental to health.
He, therefore, called for the introduction and provision of clean
cooking practices to Nigerians.
“The lighting component of RUWES has a goal of ensuring affordable and
sustainable clean energy access to the rural poor and reducing black
“The project will certainly improve maternal health, alleviate poverty, save
time and would serve as a viable business alternative resulting in financial
independence for the rural woman.
“Developing a low carbon growth plan consistent with vision 20:2020 and the
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, has made it possible for the
ministry to start the process to produce a voluntary emission reduction
strategy for the country,'' he said.