Abuja – A former Minister of Environment, Mr John Odey, has called on the three tiers of government to explore the use of alternative clean energy to curtail the dangers of burning kerosene and falling trees.
Odey made the call on Tuesday in Abuja at the start of a four-day maiden capacity enhancement workshop organised by the Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES) for women.
He said that the adverse effects of burning kerosene and falling trees to meet energy needs are being felt nationally and globally.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that RUWES is an initiative of the Renewable Energy Department of the Federal Ministry of Environment.
RUWES organised the workshop in collaboration with the United National Development Programme (UNDP).
Odey, who chairs RUWES Advisory Board, said the workshop was an important step in the efforts to educate and provide
semi-urban and rural women with clean and accessible energy solutions.
He urged stakeholders in the private sector to use part of their funds earmarked for corporate social responsibilities for projects to scale up access to clean energy technologies.
He stressed the need to sensitise rural women to the risk of inhaling smoke from wood and kerosene stoves and the gains of adopting cleaner energy technologies.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen at the end of the workshop, Odey said the government must take multi-dimensional approach to address the effects of climate change as they cut across various sectors.
He said: “Mitigating the effects of climate change has to take various dimensions in terms of sectoral approaches because there is no single approach toward it.
“At the national level, we have to look at those key issues that will impact generally on all the various sectors.
“One of the key issues is deforestation. Government should assist communities through education and by providing little technologies, especially to the rural poor to reduce and stop deforestation.
“It should also provide clean cooking stove to the rural poor and the semi-urban dwellers to prevent them from using firewood.
“There are numerous tremendous impacts that we will get from this in terms of health and economic benefits,’’ he said.
In a remark, Mr Dauda Toure, the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, said that African women faced several challenges daily in the effort nurture and nourish their families.
He stressed the need for the government to promote and sustain clean energy by developing the capacity to assemble and maintain them.
“Wide spread deployment of clean cooking and solar lighting system, promoted under rural initiative over traditional source could help to mitigate adverse effect on human health and reduce energy poverty,’’ he said.
Toure promised that the UNDP would continue to partner with the Federal Government, other development partners and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to identify local solution that could help meet development challenges.
Mrs Halima Mohammed, Coordinator, RUWES, said that the knowledge gained from the workshop would be used to provide clean energy to lift rural women and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) out of poverty. (NAN)