The Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (NACC), the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and other key stakeholders has reached agreements on standards for improved biomass cookstoves in Nigeria. This was the outcome of the Technical Committee meeting held at Golden Tulip Essential Hotel, Lagos, on December 14 and 15, 2018.
The standards now await the final approval of the executive council of the Standards Organization of Nigeria for it to become effective. Meanwhile, the Technical Committee resolved that sensitization and awareness of the standards should begin almost immediately with NACC driving the initiatives while SON sponsors and supports awareness creation.
Among stakeholders and organizations that attended the two day event were the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, the Energy Commission of Nigeria, Envirofit Nigeria, Deva Access and Empowerment International Ltd Gtee, the Consumer Protection Council, the Standards Organization of Nigeria, the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cook Stoves, National Centre for Energy Research and Development (NCERD) of University of Nigeria Nsukka and the National Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (NCEEC) of the University of Lagos.
The Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves which is an affiliate of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is made up of both government and private sector organizations with knowledge and interest in gender, health, renewable energy, environment, rural development and small business promotion. All members of the Alliance have contributed in one way or the other to promoting cleaner household cooking fuels and use of biomass in an efficient manner. It has the goal of distributing ten million improved cookstoves by 2020.
The need for standards in biomass stoves manufactured and imported into the country arose as a result of the many substandard products in the market to the detriment of consumers and genuine manufacturers. The drive towards the standardization has been ongoing since 2013 and many technical committee meetings have been held before this final event. Among the standards reached is that manufacturers must have their respective products properly labeled and each product must undergo testing and approval at approved stove testing centers in Nigeria.
Biomass stove, otherwise known as Improved Cook Stoves (ICS), is seen as one good solution to the three fold issues of energy poverty plaguing the vast majority of poor and rural Nigerians; a solution to the 95,000 deaths recorded annually from firewood smoke inhalation by women and children; and as a way of tackling deforestation and desert encroachment. Before 2010 almost all the biomass stoves in the country were imported. But today, there are many local products and producers including Deva Stove from Deva Access and Empowerment International Ltd / Gtee, Nenu Stove from Nenu Engineering Limited, Happy energy stove from Roshan Global Services Limited, Musa stove from Musa Raymond Nigeria Company Limited, Envirofit stoves assembled in Nigeria by Envirofit Nigeria and Toyola Stove from Toyola Energy Limited.
The technical committee meeting was sponsored by Envirofit Nigeria and Heinrich Boell Foundation. Envirofit was ably represented by its Country Director, Mr. Biodun Olaore. The company also welcomed a tour of its stove assembly line by the technical Committee members at its premises on Ladipo Oluwole Street, off Oba Akran Avenue, Ikeja
By Chimaobi James Agwu, Lagos, Nigeria