IDPs to get 200,000 Cookstoves, solar lights

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Abuja  – The International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development (ICEED) says it is set to partner with international agencies to distribute 200,000 Clean Cookstoves to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East.

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Mr Ananthakrishnan Subramonia, Senior Associate, ICEED, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja at the weekend.

Subramonia said that ICEED had begun discussions with national and international agencies in the development of a partnership to adopt international standards on Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE).

He explained that the project which would be under the SAFE Nigeria initiative would strengthen supply of Clean Cooking stoves and solar lights to IDPs and create an inclusive value chain.

Subramonia said the partnership would be with various UN agencies to provide non-food items to IDPs and households in the region by the end of 2018.

He said the distribution would begin in January, adding that the project was aimed at empowering IDPs and mitigating conflicts within such communities.

“ Sometimes people in the camps get food items but have to sell to get cooked food because of the non-availability of cooking materials.

“By introducing these cook stoves in these communities we try to mitigate conflicts of this kind and that is going to be our priority within the next two to three years.

“The focus is to have these stoves manufactured locally and we have begun trying different kinds of materials for the production.

“We will also be providing them (IDPs) with skills and possibly create jobs in the process which would enable them to become job providers in their various homes when they return.

The official under this not less than 1,000 women and youths would be trained in skills acquisition in the maintenance and installation of solar lights and cookstoves.

“There is a mechanism in place by which we create social entrepreneurs who can sell these stoves with a subsidy attached to it and we have a mechanism for that too.

“The women in the community have to be trained to use the stoves, meaning they have to know the right kind of firewood to be used and a lot of community awareness has to be made.

“We are looking at the possibility of promoting this innovation where it is most needed especially in remote areas because often there is very little margin between environmental degradation and poverty,“he said.

He also added that the project would enhance the demand for the stoves, create awareness and train humanitarian partners of SAFE best practices.
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He recalled that the centre in collaboration with the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, National Emergency Management Agency and FCMB Bank in 2014 distributed Cookstoves to IDPs around Abuja.

He noted that the effort revealed significant demand for cooking and lighting solutions among IDPs.

Subramonia said that partner agencies would include United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Food and Agriculture Organisation and International Organisation for Migration.

Others are NEMA, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves among others. (NAN)

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