It has been established that more than 90 million Nigerians, and almost all public institutions, cook with wood on the traditional “three-stone fires”. Cooking smoke from these fires causes 95,300 deaths in Nigeria annually (WHO 2007). Nigeria experiences the highest number of smoke-related deaths in Africa; after Malaria and HIV/AIDS it is the biggest killer. In addition, more than 100 million Nigerians live in poverty, a quarter of Africa’s extreme poor. The traditional cooking method is expensive, burning up to 90% more wood than is necessary and costing poor families money that could be put to better use on education, health and nutrition. Furthermore, deforestation is happening at an alarming rate in Nigeria with the use of wood as fuel as a major cause. It is estimated that the country loses 3% of its forest cover annually. Moreover, carbon dioxide emissions from millions of cooking fires are contributing to greenhouse gases. Desertification, caused in part by deforestation, is contributing to poverty by forcing groups from ancestral lands in search of fertile pastures. This movement of people has resulted in violent ethnic disputes.
To solve these problems, the International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development initiated the formation of the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The Alliance, a public private partnership, will be launched on 17 March 2012 in Abuja, Nigeria. The Alliance seeks to introduce 10 million clean cookstoves to Nigerian homes and institutions by 2020. Current partners include Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Environment, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Oando Plc, USAID, GIZ-Nigeria, Heinrich Boll Foundation, First City Monument Bank, Bank of Industry and International Centre for Energy, Environment & Development.