The Nigerian government has approved N9billion for the distribution of 750, 000 Clean Cook Stoves and 18,000 Wonder bags to Nigerians, in a bid to stop the depletion of forest resources caused by indiscriminate felling of trees. The stoves and wonder bags, meant for women in the rural areas, would be distributed under the National Clean Cooking Scheme, NCCS, which seeks to stem the use of solid fossils like firewood and charcoal for cooking.
Wonderbag is a non-electric slow cooker invented by Sarah Collins, a South African eco-entrepreneur. She came up with the idea six years ago during a power cut, when she decided to keep her dinner cooking by surrounding the pan with cushions. According to scientists, each Wonderbag can prevent the emission of half a ton of carbon dioxide a year, and could save a poor family a tenth of their income by cutting fuel costs. The principle is simple: heat your food to boiling point.
In five years, the NCCS aims to distribute at least four million clean cook stoves in each of the six geo-political zone and provide 20 million clean cook stoves through-out the country. The scheme also seeks to reduce the persistent felling of trees which exposes the country to ecological problems including desertification.
A United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, research shows that Nigeria tops the list of countries where women suffer various ailments resulting from the use of firewood. The Minister of Environment said that in distributing the stoves and wonderbags, women who register and buy fertiliser through the e-wallet system will be considered first. She said about two million women are currently on that database and the stoves will be distributed in batches to them. The minister added that all women groups in the country will be involved in the distribution to ensure that there is equitable distribution.