Wednesday, May 24, 2017 2:30 pm
The Women Initiative for Sustainable Environment (WISE), an NGO, said on Wednesday that it would offer a grant of 7, 500 US dollars as start-up capital to 30 women in Kaduna State to run clean cooking stove enterprises.
The WISE Founder and Programme Director, Ms. Olanike Olugboji, made this known in Kaduna, on the sideline of a five-day training on clean cooking stove enterprise.
Olugboji told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the 30 women were paired into 15 groups and each would receive 500 dollars as start-up grant.
According to her, the grant would enable the beneficiaries to run clean cooking stove enterprises in their respective communities.
“It is a sustainability plan to make sure that the women start the business and ran it successfully.
“We have linked them up with producers of the product; the amount would, therefore, help them buy the first set of the stoves and start the business.
“We believe that overtime, they would be able to grow the capital and expand gradually.”
She added that additional provision of N150,000 has been set aside as a revolving fund for those who want to scale up.
NAN recalls that the NGO, in partnership with Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) had in April held the first phase of the the training to build a movement of women entrepreneurs and advocates of clean cooking stoves in their communities.
This project, according to Olugboji, would help to curb deaths resulting from inhalation of smoke from firewood, which she puts at more than 93,000 death annually in the country.
She explained that the second phase of the training, which would end on Friday, was designed to strengthen the women’s marketing strategy in promoting the use of clean cook stove.
According to her, the effort would help in the elimination of firewood and its health hazards, thereby reducing deforestation.
Similarly, a resource person, Ms. Happy Amos, described clean cook stove as “a social enterprise”, not only for its financial gains, but also for its social and environmental impact.
Amos, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Roshan Global Services Ltd, said the clean cooking stove would serve as “a veritable source of income for the women”.
She told NAN that the stove uses charcoal and it’s cheap, energy efficient and would improve women’s health and save the environment.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to NAN, thanked WISE for the gesture, describing it as “not only empowerment, but life saving.”
Mrs Ladi Bonat said that the demand for the clean cooking stove was on the increase among women following the level of awareness in their communities.
“After the first phase of the training, we were asked to carry out a survey in our communities to find out what women are using to cook.
“We were also asked yo find out the level of awareness about the clean cooking stove and whether the women are aware of the great dangers of cooking with firewood.
“What we found out was, only one out of 50 women knows about the stove and having heard its benefits, they began placing orders, “Bonat said.
She said that so far, she had sold more than 50 clean cook stove in her community in Lere Local Government Area of the state.
Another beneficiary, Binta Yahaya also said she had sold more than 60 stoves in 20 days, adding that she could not even meet up with the demands.
“Having seen the benefits of the stove and its market potentials, I have decided to start manufacturing the stove as well as the charcoal using waste materials.
“I have already built the prototype. I am just waiting for the approval from the regulatory body and I would be in serious business,” Yahaya said.