WIT Press


WHAT’S FOR DINNER? GENDERED DECISION-MAKING AND ENERGY EFFICIENT COOKSTOVES IN BENUE STATE, NORTH CENTRAL NIGERIA

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/ESUS170101

Volume

224

Pages

11

Page Range

101 - 111

Published

2017

Author(s)

PETER ATAGHER, MIKE CLIFFORD, SARAH JEWITT, CHARLOTTE RAY

Abstract

Solid biomass collection such as firewood rests mostly on women and children in settings where traditional fuels dominates household energy choices. A 2015 World Health Organisation (WHO) report estimated that 3.5 million people globally rely on solid biomass for cooking and heating using traditional and inefficient cookstoves. The report identified the practice as the major cause of indoor air pollution responsible for 4.3 million premature deaths globally and 70,000 deaths estimated in Nigeria. The study will discuss results from ongoing qualitative research investigating enablers for the uptake of improved cookstoves (ICS) in Benue State, North Central Nigeria. The researchers used interviews and household questionnaires to gain an understanding of gendered cooking responsibilities at the household level. The paper will highlight fuel choice and wider household responsibilities that affect the use of ICS. It further discusses households’ sources of income and what duties are performed by spouses in the study area. Household decision-making regarding stove purchases and cooking preferences influencing the types of stove used for preparing food will be highlighted. The results suggest that households with shared responsibility for cooking and fuel choice help to enable women to make decisions on household energy use and have access to some basic financial resources. These appear to be important drivers for clean energy use. The study indicates that the inclusion of gender perspectives within energy policy has potential to promote the uptake of ICS with greater energy use efficiency and reduced levels of household air pollution among Nigeria’s rural and urban population.

Keywords

gender, household, responsibility, energy efficient cooking device (ICS)