By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
Apparently worried about the effect of Global warming and climate change, the North East Development Commission (NEDC) under the Chairmanship of Major General Paul Tarfa (retd), and the Managing Director, Alhaji Goni Alkali, in collaboration with Governments of the six states in the region over the weekend organized a 2-Day sensitization Workshop aimed at training 300 women, mostly the vulnerable ones from Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states simultaneously.
The training which ended on Friday 23rd September, 2022 christened ‘Climate Change Sensitization, Adaptation and the Use of Energy Efficient Stoves’ by Messrs Bhustan Energy Renewable Services ltd and Integra Renewable Energy Services ltd is apt, considering the economic cost and health hazards associated with the use of cooking gas, firewood and other sources of energy.
50 beneficiaries from each of the states after the training received certificates and a set of efficient charcoal stove, as they were all expected to cascade it down to their respective communities.
In his goodwill message, the NEDC Managing Director, Alkali said, rapidly increasing populations and continued economic growth are driving continued increases in energy demand, hence, the commission will leave no stone unturned to mitigate some of these challenges.
“The global climate change has emerged as a challenge faced by every nation in the world. Nigeria’s northeast exemplifies a typical extreme case of the country’s version of climate change, reveling in ecological imbalance and accompanied with devastating consequences.
“It is evident that the northeast grapples with an unprecedented number of climate- induced migrations courtesy of the multifaceted climate change and its palpable effects; ranging from desertification, drought, flooding and the near disappearance of the Lake Chad basin – which all put the region in a dire strait.
“We are seeing the effects of climate change that has exacerbated different conflicts in the North East, from the insurgency to communal conflicts over the years. The drying up of the Lake Chad, the southward expansion of the Sahara Desert, floods being experienced across many states, menace of the herdsmen/farmers clashes necessitated by the diminishing availability of forests and grazing lands, are all obvious problems associated with climate change in the region.
He however enjoined the beneficiaries in all the six states to utilize the knowledge gained after the Workshop as more interventions are underway.
Resource Persons, Hajiya Falmata Mustapha, a Director Administration, and Mrs Aisha Buba who is the Principal Research Officer at the Lake Chad Research Institute Maiduguri presented papers on ‘Climate Change Sensitization and Adaptation and the Use of Energy Efficient Stoves’ throughout the sessions.
In an interview, Hajiya Mustapha said, the women were sensitized on effects of climate change and the use of energy-efficient stoves.
She said the participants would be provided with efficient stoves and packages, adding that the charcoal stoves were designed with 43% thermal efficiency.
The Director urged Borno government and other stakeholders to work towards enhancing access to energy-efficient stoves to control environmental pollution and deforestation.
In her own remarks, another Facilitator, Mrs Buba who dwell on ‘Adaptation ‘ said, charcoals are generally better fuel for cooking than wood, as charcoal stoves tend to burn more than firewood.
She said, charcoal emits far less particles when burnt as compared to wood fire, and is energy-dense light weight, easy to handle, and therefore cost effective without producing much smoke that usually polluted our environment and pose health risks.
Some of the beneficiaries, Mrs Talatu Dibal from Borno State Ministry of Environment, Maryam Zarma from Jiddari Polo ward of Maiduguri metropolis, and Hadiza Mustapha lauded the gesture, adding that it had exposed them to understanding dangers associated with the use of firewood, cooking gas and how to mitigate its impact on the environment.
Apart from their pledges to cascade the training down to their communities, they also said, they will work assiduously to disseminate information on alternative energy issues and its basic application, particularly to activists working at the grassroot level.
Highlight of the programme was the presentation of Certificates, specialized Energy -Efficient Stoves, starter packs to beneficiaries.