News / Africa

    Nigeria to Switch to Clean Cooking Gas

    Africa and Oando plan to distribute 20 million of these three-kilogram gas cylinders to Nigerian homes within the next five years, Lagos, Nigeria. (Nicholas Ibekwe/VOA)Africa and Oando plan to distribute 20 million of these three-kilogram gas cylinders to Nigerian homes within the next five years, Lagos, Nigeria. (Nicholas Ibekwe/VOA)
    x
    Africa and Oando plan to distribute 20 million of these three-kilogram gas cylinders to Nigerian homes within the next five years, Lagos, Nigeria. (Nicholas Ibekwe/VOA)
    Africa and Oando plan to distribute 20 million of these three-kilogram gas cylinders to Nigerian homes within the next five years, Lagos, Nigeria. (Nicholas Ibekwe/VOA)
    Aid agencies are teaming up with Nigeria's government to convert 20 million stoves from unwholesome fuel and firewood to clean cooking gas. 

    About 112 million Nigerians rely solely on firewood for cooking, producing fumes and smoke that put them at high risk of asthma, bronchitis, child pneumonia, and lung cancer.

    The World Health Organization says more than 95,000 Nigerians die annually due to complications caused by the inhalation of smoke from biofuels.  This makes it the third-highest killer after malaria and HIV/AIDS.

    Widespread use of unwholesome fuels also has serious environmental implications through mass deforestation to supply wood for cooking. 

    International Center for Energy Environment and Development Director Ewah Eleri says contrary to what many in Nigeria think, cooking with firewood is actually very costly.

    "Smoke from the kitchen or the use of inefficient cooking methods, especially firewood, is not only a source of ill health, but is costing families far much more than they can afford," said Eleri. "Poor families spend more buying firewood than the rich spend buying electricity or cooking gas.  So these are the issues that need to be addressed.  Nigeria is already losing a lot of its forest.  Three percent of the natural forest are lost every year due to deforestation.”

    Another major source of domestic fuel in urban areas is kerosene.  Nigerians use more than 11 million liters of kerosene daily says the Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company.  This is exerting huge economic pressure on the government.  Because of the disrepair of the country’s refineries, the government spends more $5 billion annually for the importation and subsidy of kerosene.

    CEO Jerome Okolo, of the non-governmental organization Access to Clean Cooking Energy Systems and Solutions Africa, says kerosene is as harmful as firewood and other forms of biofuels.

    "Kerosene is a particularly nasty source of energy for the domestic environment," said Okolo. "Kerosene is actually aviation fuel and the only way we get it to burn is by soaking a rag in it. So that is what a kerosene stove is, a mechanism that allows you to soak a rag into kerosene and burn those rags.  That is why when you come into a place where kerosene is being used, the kitchen is always black, because you have a lot of soot, a lot of unburned fuel and that is what is actually poisoning our people.”

    Nigeria is the world's sixth-largest producer of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, but has the lowest utilization of LPG in sub-Saharan Africa.  With a potential to produce 1.5 million metric tons of LPG for domestic use yearly, the national utilization is merely 150,000 tons.

    ACCESS Africa, in partnership with the government, international organizations such as USAID, micro-finance groups, gas companies and Nigeria’s largest-petroleum-distributor Oando, aim to change that.

    Their “Switch to LPG Initiative” will see more than 20 million gas cylinders provided to Nigerian homes within the next five years.  The three-kilogram cylinders, integrated with burners, cost as little as $12 each and will require just $5 for a monthly refill.  Okolo says this is significantly less expensive than kerosene and other biofuels.  The average household spends about $27 on firewood or $23 on kerosene monthly.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, here's what the history of take-out food tells us about changes in American society

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora