Tackling Energy Poverty through the woman

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Ayobami Adedinni

Debates surrounding energy poverty (EP) in Africa have slowly been gaining ground among different social actors.

Energy poverty is a lack of access to modern energy services. These services are defined as household access to electricity and clean cooking facilities (e.g. fuels and stoves that do not cause air pollution in houses.

According to the International Energy Agency, IEA only 30 per cent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa have access to clean cooking, with devastating effects on both humans and forests.

The biggest victim of this energy poverty are women who are engaged in a number of works that require energy.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a woman dies every minute from complications related to pregnancy or child birth, often due to a lack of electricity and inadequate lighting.

“Energy poverty has the face of a woman because 80 per cent of the Energy needs will definitely be that of the women.

How many women can afford a clean gas when it is about N4, 000 for a 12 kg cylinder?

So, a lot of women have resorted to the use of kerosene which emit poisonous substances.

As I speak with you, 120 million Nigerians in the rural area are scavenging for energy.

It’s why a lot of women have lung diseases with their children. This is because when they are cooking, children are around their mothers,” Chief Mrs Anita Nana Okuribido, President, Women in Renewable Energy Association told Petrolgas Report on the sidelines of Future Energy Nigeria Conference.

Speaking further, Okuribido who is also the National Coordinator of the Association of the Nigerian Business Women Network says “Women constitute about 64 per cent of the SME in Nigeria and they all use energy.

If you look at the Entrepreneurial value chain such as Hairstyling, Fashion design and even frying of Akara, you will see that Nigeria still has a lot of work to do.

When it comes to enterprise, if the woman makes N100, the woman spends most of it on the husband and the children. If you’re able to let her have clean energy at affordable prices as mandated by the SDG goals, do you know how many families you will be saving?

She will make more money and be happy.

So, we need to reduce energy poverty because of women.

Once we reduce that, there will be a resonating effect on the economy which can not be compared,” she said.

According to her, the traditional woman is under pressure of “not wanting to lose the man.

The man goes as far as not bequeathing anything to the woman if she is not doing well, take it out on the children and marries another woman.

So, you can imagine the sort of pressure the traditional woman faces.

There’s no way you can reduce poverty without going through the Renewable energy.

So at Women in Renewable Energy Association, we have a program tagged “1 Nigerian child, one solar reading lamp” and we are targeting 40 million Nigerian children.

If 40 million Nigerian children put on their lamps at night and you have a drone flying over, they’ll say, “oh, this place is illuminated”.

How much will this cost?

Part of our plans is to put a Solar Kiosk in each of the 774 Local Government Areas.

Several things could be done in the Kiosk such as Hairstyling, Fashion design, if it’s a fishing community, they can put freezers.

Do you know the effect that would have on the economy? “, she queried.

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