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Government to address energy poverty

11 December 2013, 10:24

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 Energy Day.

Ishaku said nearly half of the country's population cook on open fire, a contributor to deforestation, global warming, respiratory infections and premature deaths.

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 ecology.”

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 carbon emissions.

“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.

-   NAN


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