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Achieving Universal Clean Cooking Fuel in Africa

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By Okoko Chidozie Christian

[email protected]; 09025179984

Every person needs food to sustain their lives. The vast majority of staple foods about 95% needs cooking before they can be eaten, and most people cook at least 2-3 times per day.

Achieving Universal Clean Cooking Fuel in Africa

Clean cooking fuel, as fuel with very low level of polluting emission when burned requires technological education from design and construction to proper use and maintenance. These clean cooking fuels include: biogas, liquefied petroleum gas, electricity, ethanol, natural gas and solar power (BLEENS).

The extraction and use of wood for energy is prominent in developing country with more than 80% of households in Sub-Saharan African (Angola, Nigeria, Ghana etc.) depending on wood energy. Frequently, biomass such as firewood, charcoal, dungs and agricultural residue fuel is among the available energy source especially in the rural areas, and mainly burned on inefficient open fire and traditional stoves.

The combustion process guarantee smoke; and this smoke contains a complex mixture of numerous substances composed of various organic and inorganic compounds. These compounds are toxic and dangerous to the health system of human beings. This is because they contain carbon-monoxide, nitrogen, sulphur oxide, carbon-dioxide, aldehydes, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, chlorinated dioxins, free radicals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Access to modern energy remains a major problem in developing countries; however, poorer countries suffer more from energy access problems. More than 50% of death from pneumonia, cancer and chronic lung disease in Sub-Saharan Africa is due to combustion of solid fuels. Among women, there is a high association between fuelwood combustion, high risk of chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease especially asthma and cataract. Childhood respiratory infections such as pneumonia have been highly associated with fuel wood combustion (WHO, 2016).

Many countries in Africa lack access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking, and the transition to sustainable energy requires an assessment of drivers of the use of clean energy and dirty fuel for cooking. Though, access to clean fuel such as electricity promotes clean fuel use; it does not necessarily lead to a complete transition to the use of clean fuel, hence most households continue using traditional fuel in addition to the clean fuel. Despite massive efforts aimed at substituting and electrification, the number of people relying on biomass is slightly decreasing.

In 2018, about 2.8billion people use biomass fuels for cooking. And, it is estimated that by 2030, about 2.52billion people will still cook with biomass. Apart from the role of biomass for cooking, it is considered “dirty “and “backward” and seldom associated with “modern energy.” Yet, biomass has come to stay.

Recently, civil societies, academic institutions and international co-operations promoted the use of clean cooking fuel, thereby undertaken small initiatives to replace the traditional cooking fuel. But, to have a real impact on the welfare of the people, it is necessary to join effort and work together with the public sectors.

Nevertheless, this would be an extensive action in terms of health, and this is the time to expand ideas and propose a comprehensive approach to remove all the smokes from our homes knowing very well that healthy people are generally more productive, enabling some people to break the vicious cycle of poverty.

Africa Clean Cooking Energy Solution (ACCES) Initiative has earlier organized enlightenment campaigns in improving health condition, counteract climate change and decrease negative socio-economic impacts of traditional cooking stove by introducing clean cooking technologies and clean cooking fuels.

They reiterated that smoke produced by traditional stoves in household or rural areas has harmful effects on the health families posing a challenge of almost 1/3 of the African population. Hence, efforts are being made to remove any device that generates harmful pollutants to human health, namely candles and oil lamps to mention but a few.

Since 2015, Universal Access to Energy has been on every national agenda as well as international co-operation. “Energy for all” means providing access to electricity for more than 1/5 of the world population, but the more challenging is providing access to sustainable, affordable and clean cooking energy for more than 1/3 of the world population.

Access to modern cooking energy has so many tasks to international development co-operations. It will improve the situation related to education, health, rural development, good governance and sustainable economic development by instigating cooking energy awareness campaigns to school children and women.

We are aware that for generations, families in rural areas have developed practices that require no modern cooking fuel maintenance or cleaning. In this perspective, it is necessary to enhance intervention plans to incorporate activities that ensure sustainability for the clean cooking fuel users to take ownership of the new technologies.

According to the Cooking Energy Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Universal Access to Energy, there is a higher share of renewable energy and massive improvements in energy efficiency as part of the top global priorities for sustainable development in the years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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History as Nigeria Launches Mew 5-in-1 Meningitis Vaccine

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Nigeria has launched the new Men5CV vaccine, which offers protection against five strains of the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria (meningococcus) responsible for meningitis.

History as Nigeria Launches Mew 5-in-1 Meningitis Vaccine

Nigeria becomes the first country globally to launch the vaccine, which is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Men5CV vaccine rollout is a significant advance in the fight against meningitis, as it provides broader protection than the previous vaccines.

It shields against the major strains A, C, W, Y and X of meningococcal bacteria in a single shot. Existing vaccines sold in Africa are only effective against strain A.

The introduction of Men5CV is particularly crucial for Nigeria, one of the 26 hyper-endemic countries in Africa, which recently experienced an outbreak leading to 1,742 suspected cases.

In response, a vaccination campaign was conducted in March 2024 to reach more than one million individuals aged from one to 29.

The vaccine’s development, spanning 13 years, was a collaborative effort between PATH and the Serum Institute of India, with funding from the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The Men5CV vaccine utilises the same technology as the MenAfriVac vaccine that has eradicated meningococcal A epidemics in Nigeria.

In July 2023, the WHO prequalified the meningitis vaccine, branded as MenFive. It went on to issue a formal recommendation for its launch in October.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, provided funding for the vaccine and emergency vaccination activity, and allocated resources for the Men5CV rollout in December.

The vaccine is now available for outbreak response through the emergency stockpile managed by the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision.

Mass preventive campaigns involving the Men5CV vaccine rollout across sub-Saharan Africa’s ‘Meningitis Belt’ are expected to commence in 2025.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. WHO director-general, stated: “Meningitis is an old and deadly foe, but this new vaccine holds the potential to change the trajectory of the disease, preventing future outbreaks and saving many lives.

“Nigeria’s rollout brings us one step closer to our goal to eliminate meningitis by 2030.”


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NAFDAC Alerts Nigerians to EU Ban on Dex Soap

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National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has alerted Nigerians on the ban on Dex Luxury Bar Soap (No 6 Mystic Flower), by the European Union (EU).

NAFDAC Alerts Nigerians to EU Ban on Dex Soap

The notification is contained in a public alert with No. 012/2024, signed by Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general, NAFDAC, and issued to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday.

“The product does not comply with the cosmetic products regulation; it also contains Butyphenyl Methylpropional (BMHCA), which is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its risk of harming the reproductive system.

“It also causes harm to the health of unborn children and may cause skin sensitisation.

“It is as a result of the defective nature of the product that the EU banned it.

“The products is not in NAFDAC database; importers, distributors, retailers and consumers are to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain,” she said.

NAFDAC boss urged marketers and consumers to avoid the importation, distribution, sale and use of the product, stressing that product’s authenticity and physical condition must be carefully checked.

She enjoined members of the public in possession of the product to discontinue sale or use, and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.


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EFCC Discovers Fraudulent COVID Funds, World Bank Loan in Poverty Ministry

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has discovered shady dealings involving COVID-19 funds, World Bank loan, as well as Abacha recovered loot at the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Humanitarian Affairs.

EFCC Discovers Fraudulent COVID Funds, World Bank Loan in Poverty Ministry

In a Sunday statement, Dele Oyewale, EFCC spokesperson, said the funds were released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute poverty alleviation programmes.

The anti-graft agency said its recent investigation into the affairs of the ministry led to the recovery of N32.7 billion and $445,000 so far.

The EFCC added that “suspended officials” of the Ministry were linked to the fraudulent practice, saying those found wanting will be prosecuted accordingly.

“At the outset of investigations, past and suspended officials of the Humanitarian Ministry were invited by the Commission and investigations into the alleged fraud involving them have yielded the recovery of N32.7billion and $445,000 so far,” the statement reads

“Discreet investigations by the EFCC have opened other fraudulent dealings involving Covid-19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot released to the Ministry by the Federal Government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate. Investigations have also linked several interdicted and suspended officials of the Ministry to the alleged financial malfeasance.

“It is instructive to stress that the Commission’s investigations are not about individuals. The EFCC is investigating a system and intricate web of fraudulent practices. Banks involved in the alleged fraud are being investigated. Managing Directors of the indicted banks have made useful statements to investigators digging into the infractions.

“Those found wanting will be prosecuted accordingly. Additionally, the EFCC has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the fraud. Investigations are ongoing and advancing steadily. The public is enjoined to ignore any claim to the contrary.”

Recall that, Betta Edu, suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, announced she has no link with the N30 billion purportedly recovered by the EFCC.


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