97% of Nigerian communities use firewood for cooking – UN
NEWS DIGEST – Rhoda Dia, Project Manager UNDP-GEF Integrated Approach Programme for Food Security, IAP-FS, has said that about 97 per cent of Nigerian communities still use firewood for cooking and other activities.
Mrs Dia made this known on Thursday at a two-day National Stakeholders’ Consultative Workshop on the Inclusion of Agroforestry and Land Use into National Policy on Environment in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
She said cutting down the trees for firewood had degraded the land and exposed it to so many other factors which affecting the sustainability of the environment and food security.
She said there was a need to find a solution to the trend in other to minimise the effect of cutting down trees on the availability of food in the future.
Mrs Dia said the case was alarming, adding that, “what we discover from our baseline report is that 97 per cent of our communities use firewood for cooking.”
According to her, UNDP-GEF projects on fostering sustainability and resilience for food security which is being implemented in seven states of Kano, Katsina, Benue, Nasarawa, Gombe, Jigawa and Adamawa.
She said the projects had done a lot to train women and youths on sustainable energy.
“We have provided an alternative form of energy for them and thought them how to make it and this has help generate income for them and better improved their livelihood and produce foods in a sustainable manner.
“We have taught them how to use residues from their farms, how to make energy efficient cookstoves and also to market them,” she said
According to Mrs Dia, UNDP-GEF with the efforts of farmers in some of the beneficiary states have planted over 30,000 tree seedlings in their communities and ensure the trees grow and survive.
“Our farmers have given us their plots of land for agroforestry purposes, and for the survival of the trees, we ensure that wells are dug so that during the dry season, those planted seedlings can be watered throughout the season.
“We thereby call for climate smart agriculture for production of food and at the same time look after the environment to ensure that our land is not degraded.
She said UNDP-GEF had trained farmers on so many initiatives for land restoration, like manual compost making, cover crops racing and so many initiatives that could help restore the land into its original form.