[FROM THE ARCHIVES] Dangers Of Cooking With Firewood

Woman cooking with Firewood

Woman cooking with Firewood

Cooking with firewood

Editorial piece originally published September 29, 2014

The number of Nigerian women who expose themselves to harmful smoke as a result of using firewood to cook is unknown, but activists warn that they are many who are dying from the smoke they inhale from such method of cooking.

Experts claim that the smoke generated by firewood expose women to diseases such as tuberculosis and lung cancer. Once they get sick, these impoverished women cannot afford treatment or medication.

A report on climate change says at least 150,000 Nigerians, men and women, die every year as a result of harmful smoke.

Of this number, women represent the biggest chunk because in Nigeria, women are still exclusively saddled with the responsibility to cook.

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With little financial means, these women end up cutting trees to feed their families. Women with some means use kerosene, which also generates carbon monoxide.

Cooking with firewood is not only affecting Nigerian women, it also endangers our planet with the global climate change the world is trying to contain.

We call on Nigerian government, business leaders and the civil society to acknowledge both the threats and opportunities associated with cooking in Nigeria and take prompt action.

We believe that while awareness about the dangers of cooking with firewood or kerosene should be created, alternative cooking methods such as using cooking gas should be made available and affordable to Nigerian women. If the nation’s gas resources could be properly harnessed, it could become cheap for many households to afford.